Saturday, March 9, 2013

Two Poems by Jeffrey Park


Like a ghost she speaks in a whisper
and her whispery breath flows
across my face like a desert wind, hot

whistling over carven stone and down
through narrow ravines
a whisper that makes my cheek itch

if you scratch it it’ll only get worse
infected with some flesh-eating
virus and one word

that keeps repeating: respiration
breathe in, breathe out
she murmurs blow out until your face

turns purple – when the spots in your
eyes begin to seem like old friends
you’ll know you’re almost there.


Day by creeping day it gets just a little more difficult
to explain my ever-multiplying little idiosyncrasies:

no morning cup of tea coffee cocoa and just how long
has it been since you last had a bath, when did

you last wash your hair, brush your teeth, use deodorant
and why ever do you make that face when I sit

down next to you and then scrunch away like you’re
afraid of my touch? And how should I answer?

Should I speak to you of how I bite back my screams
at the gurgling sounds emanating from your stomach,

at the thought of what goes down the drain after you’ve
had your bath, at the mere sight of your feet dragging

dragging on the carpet – for the love of Jesus, I can feel
the static lightning running madly over your flesh –

Keep your questions and your sparks and your hateful
fluids well away, can’t you understand my internal

parts aren’t rated for such an environment? That dead
and caking skin is my only insulation? In my private

fantasies I imagine a house scrubbed of foul contaminates,
no bathroom, no kitchen, no faucets or drains or toilets

circulating their sludge, no bugs, no breath, no you –
only bare formica surfaces and positive barometric

pressure generating a pleasant pop and rattle in my ears
which are dry as a bone and clean as a whistle.

Baltimore native Jeffrey Park lives in Munich, Germany, where he works at a private secondary school and teaches business English to adults. His poems have appeared in Requiem, Deep Tissue, Danse Macabre, Crack the Spine, Right Hand Pointing and elsewhere, and his digital chapbook, Inorganic, has recently been published online by White Knuckle Press. Links to all of his published work can be found at

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