Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

On Perspective


Farther away the grapes get larger. An ever-expanding lexicon
needs new meanings to form. A baseball moving should do it,
cut up into pieces, not a torture, much like a still-living cow.
Dried, now, in the sunny field, and the sunny field rounded over,
like the breathing belly, against its seams. Squinting,
you nearly grazed the elements. Putting raisins in the bread
allows one to see the space between them expand
in rising, and this for meaning as well. Troubling to admire
the proportional, but try observing the distance between
your nose and your finger each time you bisect it.
The coincidence of these things and now here I am.
Heat leavens evening. Each time approaching meaning
the spaces around me get bigger. As in the field where
the cat-o’-nine-tails switches to cattle. Say what you will
but it takes a lexicon to know one. Fine gloaming coming,
and sun still bright as a baseball. I put three weapons
in front of you and say, choose. And say, what grasps
the grapes will get the juice out. Although the consonants
often mislead the average foreign speaker, bisect is close
to vivisect. And then follow the seams back around
to where you began. Asking for the oven, still warm. Like
a lively stutter. These fingers may menace just as they graze
the breathing belly. Stitched tight in your room, a looking
for the way out, it’s just in front of your nose.
What occupies the pared thing, and are we supposed to
be happy in our despair. Seems like we’ve been here before.
A trouble to admire what’s as far as the eye can see. And on it
a last pitch to the distance, alive and looking about. The sun
sinks down below the sightlines, bigger than before,
but darkness doesn’t follow.

Jay Deshpande's poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Washington Square, La Petite Zine, Narrative, Handsome, Vinyl, Shampoo, Spork, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BA from Harvard University. He is the former poetry editor of AGNI and he curates the Metro Rhythm Reading Series in Brooklyn (