The Iberian Lynx

John Poch

We make another home at the edge
of a city of broken stucco laments,
olives, and orange tree devotion.
Mornings, little men in leather jackets
like black fire hydrants compact
their disillusionments on each corner while
the smallest white dump truck
in the world whines through our streets
with its sunflower of oblivion.
Nights, we shut shutters tight
against the city light.
Tonight we are
within and between a tent of books
on each bedside table beside a river
of sleep rolling away and breaking up
into small pellets like mercury
fallen from a broken thermometer.
We think we hear something stir,
but it is only the wind in a windless city,
rare, of strange value, in need of saving.
So, as a white Virgin carried out
of a white church by candlelight
jumps, we jump. Our child
bumps the walls with a fever.
In a moment without decisions,
a little flashlight illuminates your arm.

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John Poch’s most recent collection, Fix Quiet, won the New Criterion Poetry Prize. He teaches at Texas Tech University.

Prairie Schooner

Spring 2018

Lincoln, Nebraska

University of Nebraska

Kwame Dawes

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