3 Poems — Fritz Ward



THE DOPPELGANGER’S POST-WEDDING PRIZE

Room 12B (Where the Carnations Live a Week Longer than Anyone Intended)

Half-way down the mountain,
            Miss Gosh and Mister Solomon smooch
in the midget room for the very first time.
            Their hands, warm and nascent, fumble
with the sign language of desire.
            The arrangement of fingers is persuasive.
Each knucklebone bends and matters.
            Each mouth opens and closes, glimmering
and slick. On the nightstand,
            a glass of water poses as a vase
filled with the violence
            of freshly cut flowers.


***


THE DOPPELGANGER’S POST-WEDDING PRIZE

9 A.M.

By morning, one-third of everything imaginable
has been accomplished. Dust gathers at the baseboards,
and gathers weight, resisting the wide blades
of sunlight and the sheerest lingerie.
Lingerie cannot save us now. Sex
is only one method of mock
suicide. A bonified stabbing.
Hence the hedge
and rustle, the tap-tap-tap
of conjugation’s fingernails
against the windowpane.
If you’re lucky, you shudder
as your insides fall out.


***


POSTCARD WITH TOMORROW’S PHOBIA

(Fargo, ND – Sunflower Capital of the U.S.)

[Front]
            Field sick with sun and flower. Faces filled
            with seeds. The sky touched blue, then bluer,
            then drowned. The trees at a distance, nameless
            and anonymous, a green defining the horizon.

[Back]
            It’s night now. Winter. Snow
            liked chewed feathers
            over the empty field.
            I remember the first
            illness—that paradise
                                    of need.


***


Fritz Ward’s poetry appears or is forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, The Journal, Blackbird, and elsewhere. His manuscript has been a finalist for the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award, The National Poetry Series Open Competition, the Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry, and several other contests. He is the author of the poetry chapbook, Doppelgänged (Blue Hour Press, 2011). He lives just outside of Philadelphia and works at Swarthmore College.