Xu Smith – Two Poems

Xu Smith

Two Poems


Today’s humble meditation: vacate, sigh, turn
around to consider the toilet bowl in memoriam
to yesterday’s loaf and leaf and marbled meat,
the dark flesh of December, a Sunday dinner,
all of us, digestifs of flames swirling in a glass.
Time consumes itself and is delicious, the recipe
for making earth from bread.

Dollar Chinese

In the spare Chelsea gallery
the smell of cooked food
froze in the air conditioning.

A sickening smell
shamed into a desk drawer
and tasted surreptitiously.

Her breath, betrayed as dollar
Chinese, and not the chaste
smell of the refrigerator salad,

struck me the way one woman
smells another when she enters
a public bathroom stall, inhaling

her powerful greasiness.
A smell far from artful
that clashed with the white.

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