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Two Poems [by Amit Majmudar]

Amit Majmudar

from What He Did In Solitary by Amit Majmudar

Embodiment Pantoum

When you’ve had the same lover long enough,
You want the same lover in a different body
So that renewal isn’t quite betrayal
Nor the second first kiss a Judas kiss.

You want the same lover in a different body,
But every resurrection requires a death,
And what tastes like a kiss to the tongue of Judas
Can wither the tongue in a liar’s mouth.

If every resurrection requires a death,
What killed your love for the body you had?
The tongue and all its tastebuds blossom lies.
When you’ve lost your one lover long enough,

The tongue in your mouth can’t taste the kiss.
There was one incarnation, and you betrayed it.
A second first kiss is death to the first love.
You’ll die wanting the same love in the same body.


Once upon a time. Twice, on her parents’ bed.
She freaked out when she found the human stain
Dried rough in the rough shape of the male brain.
Cautious ever after, after that she said
She liked it when I shot her in the head.
She blew my brains out. Bang bang, I was dead,
Unarousable there in the first floor master.
Sometimes, on long drives, she’d gun me. Faster, faster
I tongued the olive pressed between her thighs.
Floaters, she swore, as bright as rescue flares
Would dive across the dark behind her eyes.
I pearl dove and never once came up for air
There in her aunt’s houseboat on Lake Champlain.
The wetter she got the harder I smelled the rain.

-- Amit Majmudar

Click here for Luke Hankins' take on Amit Majmudar:

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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