It’s interesting how our personal lives adopt practices (and terms) that so often evoke our collective lives. Evan Anders’s poems from the latest issue of NDQ trace the way in which the collective experiences of ritual and dystopia inform the little struggles that make up our daily lives.
If you like this poem, check out some of the other poetry, essays, and stories from issue 88.1/2. You can read more of that issue by clicking the link.
As you likely know, these days are particularly challenging for many cultural institutions, publishers, and little magazines. So even if NDQ doesn’t float your boat, If you can, consider buying a book from a small press, subscribing to a literary journal (like our UNP stablemate, Hotel Amerika), or otherwise supporting the arts.
a thicket of peach blossoms
passionate in the crush.
a mimicry of rituals
in memory of defiance.
what have we learned from sacrifice?
the distinguished rose
a pressed carnation
dissolved into this goddamn armchair
i’ve grown comfortable in this skin.
a shadow beneath
a bruised fruit
in the mouth of morning.
i open the door
to taste sunlight.
dystopia à la carte
when we talk about divorce, we talk with our hands.
a broken necklace. a sapphire. a stamen. a pistil.
we become animated. we are resentful.
a grace note. a misconstrued gale.
lessons to our children
relentlessly chain smoking
a lengthy rejection slip
a diminishment of blush
a divide in hubris
a separation between sheets.
a half-truth of love descends from your lips
we become nostalgic. we become melancholy.
we have stopped sharing a bed.
your imprint. your taste.
your evolution in moonlight.
arranging my fingernail trimmings
bandaged in desolation
your bare hip
how do we proceed?
in the courtyard.
Evan Anders brews coffee for mass consumption in Philadelphia. His poems have appeared in North Dakota Quarterly, California Quarterly, decomp journal, Chicago Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. He is a retired stay-at-home dad who thinks Bob Dylan was best in the eighties.