Tim Suermondt

I Love Seeing Them

The great paintings in a museum,
that is, thinking I could have painted
a slew of them just as well, which

I do know is ridiculous.
A woman next to me takes off
her headphones and says “You should

try the audio tour, it’s fantastic.”
I tell her I might and when I turn again
to the wall, there I am walking

with the philosophers as we discourse
while filing out of the marble rotunda.
Plato pays close attention as I punch

a point home with a beautiful insistence.
I look silly in toga and sandals,
but I’m not worried. I can step out

of the painting. They can’t. They’ll
never meet this woman who could tell
them everything about it.

It Happened Only Once

But it stays with me still:
          my father and I
          down a city sidewalk,
somehow not plowing
          into people along the way.
Absolute silliness
          from a man and a boy!
Nothing in the universe could
          have been better,
I wish I hadn’t waited until
          it was too late
to tell him how lucky we were.

Tim Suermondt is the author of five full-length collections of poems, the latest Josephine Baker Swimming Pool (MadHat Press, 2019). He has published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Stand Magazine, Innisfree Poetry Journal, december magazine, On the Seawall, Poet Lore, and Plume, among many others. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.



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