Two Poems by Josh Lefkowitz




These Meds

These meds are like bubble wrap
I can’t sink but it’s tough to move
Fine I’ll just bob then – look at me
I don’t need anything else except
Twenty daily milligrams
I can go for a walk or not
Nothing I do or don’t alters much
If I eat too much I’ll be fat and okay
When I drink to excess I’m somehow still fine
Life or me can’t hurt me now – hell
I don’t even desire love
My one lament: the edges feel rubbed out
Another way: my paint palette’s smaller
It’s not like I miss the browns and blacks
But they were still a part of me
And I want to learn to be good to the all of me
Well alright for a while I won’t be
The whole unruly masterpiece mess
I’ll just be a simple pencil sketch
No soaring true but no drowning either
Besides I do think (do pray) one day I’ll get
better, the way the sun when it sets turns red,
then redder, then goes, then gone.


That Day

When he one day arrives
and lifts a bony finger to buzzer bell
or takes the mouth of the front door’s gilded lion,
rapping brass ring to wood three times (definitely three) –

When he comes dressed in the standard old cloak
or disguised as a neighborhood boy or my father,
I want to be neither afraid nor forlorn,
but rather, calm as a cow in a pasture of Indiana grass –

If it’s really him, and not instead
some God-tinged prank – the highway car sideswipe
or chicken-bone-choke that threatened but did not follow through –

Well, I will want to be brave enough
to set aside my task, casually drop (at last!) the pen,
and go with him – eagerly, even – to the place beyond the end –

And yet, I want to be foolish enough
to believe it now when I say to you here, that
I will see you again.

Josh Lefkowitz is currently swapping poems with his 8-year-old niece (not these).