Two Poems

by Deborah Bacharach

After Whitman

The boat adrift on the lake is me. The seaplane lifting
its floats, leaving a trail of spray as it leaves
for the pale blue, me lifting. The truck releasing
brakes as the truck brings, me, snapdragons,
the high pitch of songs birds. I am the mother
on the bicycle traveling the trail.

I captain the speedboat, my hand steady on the wheel.
Whomever has warm limbs soaked through with sun,
those are my limbs also and they are beautiful to me.
I am beautiful and everything I see is beautiful. My toenails
beautiful, painted or unpainted. My hunger beautiful
earned or unearned. I feel it and am content.

Have bears left claw marks on the bark?
Do you douse yourself with cool water
and know that you are beautiful?
I am sunk in the loam. When my hips
turn, earth finds an axis.


Dictation from Fog

All that I love of spring—my daughter
burrowing under my arm, delight
in scavenged broken iron, that she has kept
company with Orion–will be forgotten.
At five I jumped on the hotel bed in Greece,
drank cocoa and smoke made of flowers.
I remember. In the coliseum, we track
the mystery: who’s alive. I have walked on
the cracked Roman bricks in Carcassonne.
I think of the soul, deep drum that gathers bones
like an unbounded universe gathers wings.

Photo credit

About Deborah Bacharach

Deborah Bacharach is the author of After I Stop Lying (Cherry Grove Collections, 2015). Her work has appeared in Many Mountains Moving, The Antigonish Review, Literary Mama, and Blue Mesa Review among many others.

Deborah Bacharach

Deborah Bacharach is online at