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.

Isabel MeyersFayum Portrait

Related Posts

poetry feature

January 2019 Poetry Feature

MATTHEW GELLMAN
It was like a woman throwing off / her shawl at the end of an evening. / The way it dressed itself in moonlight. / The way it planted itself on the sill. / Settling against the glass, its head shook… / And each of its green muscles ticked / even closer to the end of its slenderest life.

vaudeville

Before Vaudeville was the Next Big Thing

MARC VINCENZ
So—in they slot and plop in their perfectly/ burnished 180-calorie-sandwiched-glory:/ a delectable mélange well-clothed in filigrees/ of dietary fibers, sodium, zero trans fat/ and generously acidic to keep the heebie-jeebies / at bay—(some, they say, reach as far as Antarctica