TWO PALE VERSES and other poems

Alisha Dietzman

03.09.22

DUŠAN MAKAVEJEV’S LOVE AFFAIR, OR THE CASE OF THE MISSING SWITCHBOARD OPERATOR


The criminologist addresses us directly and specifically:

A murderer will often stare long and hard at the motionless body.

Izabela, breathless and nude at the window. Izabela,

milk over her breasts. Izabela and Ahmed on a bed,

looking at the other. Izabela and Ahmed on a bed,

looking at the other. Eating honey. Pressed against

the shower curtain like a memory. The examiner forms a V

beneath Izabela’s breasts. He fans her brain into a forest.

The human body is made up of an enormous number of substances.

Strawberries, TV and God. Too much to recount.

Still, of course we try.

The criminal always seeks to make a “leap into the void. ”

This strikes me as overwrought but accurate. What interests me,

for example, is the loneliness of the evidence: her shoes. A sundress.






LOVE POEM BY THE LIGHT OF THE DESERT


I didn’t expect the desert, its longform.

We took ourselves to water.

I cannot say everything was beautiful,

but mostly, yes;

I am grateful for the names of God

we are allowed to speak, and the hidden.

We didn’t intend to see them fucking among the trees,

as deer to me, in my particular way.

I have rejected certain discourses,

I have accepted certain discourses.

A man you work with tells me he knows

everything there is to know about religion.

I practice a certain docility in my discourses.

I tell you again, again, the desert,

something dead-already, resurrected: the tightly-metered

voice calling out kidnappings, the weather,

mildly apocalyptic all June.

In the river you are cold in my mouth.






LOVE POEM BY YELLOW LIGHT


July: loose      dress.

Outside the town, the sage on fire

smells like sugar, money.

That man you work with burning

sage, dousing sage, says he knows

everything there is to know about religion:

and none of it good.

We are in a bar on Taco Tuesday.

Beside him someone keeps saying softly

he’s killed a cougar. Beside him: yellow

vinyl reflects yellow. Uneasy glasses.

Michel Pastoureau devotes himself

entirely to the study of color:

first and foremost a social phenomenon.

Yellow is the least loved color, in most socials,

per Pastoureau. My hands slide down my glass,

coldblooded as airports.

The man tells me he’s going on a date.

He does not know the woman. He tells me

they will undress together and run

through the rooms of her quiet

house      somewhere in Idaho:

two pale verses.






TWO PALE VERSES


My mother asks if  I’m reading Jeremiah.

A man on break from Grocery Outlet watches me comb my hair.




Alisha Dietzman is a PhD candidate in Divinity focusing on Aesthetics and Ethics at the University of St Andrews, supported by a grant from the US-UK Fulbright Commission. Her poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, and Chicago Review, among others.

[Why the dead] and other poems

Changes Review

Jane Huffman

AIR BALL

Changes Review

Molly Ledbetter

Ọmọ Ẹlùkù

Changes Review

Ridwan Tijani