Fayum Portrait

by JAMES HOCH

             [Field Manual]

Sunday, there she goes again, toddling
             out the door, off the back deck, tumbling

in her church dress, a field of hand-
             painted green stems and yellow flowers,

so that stunned, staggering forward—
            Brother, no IED, no gag a god pulls,

today, no one dies. It’s just sky,
            dress, sky. There’s no manual for this—
 

[Purchase Issue 14 here.]
 

James Hoch‘s poems have appeared in The New Republic, The Washington Post, Slate, Chronicle Review, American Poetry Review, New England Review, the Kenyon Review, Tin House, and Ploughshares. His books are A Parade of Hands and Miscreants. Currently, he is a professor of creative writing at Ramapo College of New Jersey and guest faculty at Sarah Lawrence.

Fayum Portrait

Related Posts

The Hundertwasser House in Vienna

Etude No. 2 and Etude No. 3

KIM CURTS MATTHEUSSENS
in Rome a monumental marble typewriter / ticked out their story into the sky: two lovers / devour time. she lay on the lawn near Trajan's / column. he plucked letters from her dress, / her hair, served them to her by hand, by mouth.

Image of an intensely green trailhead.

December 2022 Poetry Feature: Kevin McIlvoy

KEVIN McILVOY
On mine spoil. In debris fields / of asphalt and concrete and brick. / Upon sites of chemical spills. / Along lifeless riverbanks. / In clonal groves so hardy you / have to steel yourself for years / of killing to kill one acre. / Where construction crews rake off / the surface

field spotted with red flowers

December 2022 Poetry Feature

TOMMYE BLOUNT
It feels good grazing against my skin, / all that satin and muslin—a high / thread count to tuck in / the American Dream. Embroidery / and tassels fit for men like me / who would pay a good buck / to be a part of this invisible kingdom. / Ah! This flair for pageantry / seen in a film—