Tim Suermondt


The buildings and the poems keep coming
and the dreams fester and flourish:

My father is working hard in the garden,
digging and pulling with robust satisfaction.

“Son,” he says, “come a little closer. I have
something I want to show you.” He’s holding

two tomatoes, one in each hand. “Aren’t they
big and beautiful? I grew them for you,

everything here is for you. Surely, c’mon,
you can understand me now.” I take one tomato,

thank him and tell him he can keep the other.
I walk away and travel down the street filled

with sunlight and construction, where on a busy
avenue corner my wife is waiting. We have a date.

Fine in Many Places but Here’s
One You’ll Really Like 

We’ll meet one day,
like a paper boat and
a watermelon that’s been cooling in the river.
                                                   —Nikola Madzirov

Almost perfect, and I love paper boats and watermelon
but I love land more than water, the streets of concrete
more than dirt roads, the city no matter how troubled and torn
more than the enchanted forest. Were it up to me we’d meet
on the long University boulevard filled with students on bicycles,
returning from Spring Break with a desire to hit the books again,
trying to be the scholar I could never be, those pages of history,
philosophy, science and the lonely romance of exams that promise
entrée to a golden future as if there couldn’t be any other.
A paper boat, a watermelon on the dormitory steps, a great comet
blazing across the sky the moment we meet for that first time,
your dress the color of wheat flowers blooming under the windows.

Tim Suermondt is the author of Trying to Help the Elephant Man Dance (The Backwaters Press, 2007), Just Beautiful (New York Quarterly Books, 2010), and Election Night and the Five Satins (Glass Lyre Press, 2016). His fourth full-length collection The World Doesn’t Know You was published by Pinyon Publishing in late 2017, and his fifth book, Josephine Baker Swimming Pool, will be released in 2018 by MadHat Press. He has poems published in Poetry, The Georgia Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, Bellevue Literary Review, North Dakota Quarterly, december magazine, Plume Poetry Journal, Poetry East, and Stand Magazine (England), among others. He is a book reviewer for Cervena Barva Press and a poetry reviewer for Bellevue Literary Review. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.



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