Two Poems from Peter Schwartz



love myth
i love you impractically, because every night’s an accident
in the wrong clothes, a blackout in a church parking lot
an empty ditch dance that’s not going to last

and starting again means sitting next to the world’s best thief
means nurturing death right out of its flowerbed using only
your tongue (dirt-licker, they’ll call you)

which is another kind of accident, a broken leg costume party
you’ll wear hard inside, imitating curtains and fishbowls that
oppose each other like thumbs, too over

and drowned to call a friend, too proud to name the unnamable
on what’s now a fast-moving train following an algorithm of un-
happy lust you calculated in the dark

and prayed for in your rabbit hole with your weak palms pressed
against the glass, you just didn’t know you were wishing into a
bottomless well until you had to sift

through a hundred widows’ magazines to find the words
to say hello again, until you learned attainment isn’t claiming
disfigurement at every corner or coughing

blood up to the sky, that’s a failed sewage treatment scheme
that won’t work on anyone here, your worst bottled-up animal
gene in a salmon trap, a false badge and mockery

so remember now, because every night’s an accident:
starting again means sitting next to the world’s best thief
means nurturing death right out of its flowerbed

using only your tongue.



simple legend
we met fluttering like lawn furniture in a hurricane
with more angles than seemed necessary, almost sculptural
in our watching

we left trails into ourselves, you went: servant, fawn,
apple then angel, while i, already on fire, went straight
for your heart’s jugular

(i couldn’t resist what i knew you already were or saw
in that, such particular light)

then, one night when it was snowing somewhere
in the world, we became vessels, ourselves but not
ourselves, full-hearted animals

we became: love.



Peter Schwartz’s words have been featured in Wigleaf, Pank, Opium, and Columbia Review. He’s also an artist, comedian, and dedicated kayaker. More here.