Four Poems by Tom Snarsky



after Sylvia Plath & Dolores O’Riordan

It’s the same old theme
Since nineteen-sixteen,
When Amy Lowell released
Men, Women, & Ghosts,
Including the fiery line
Her music-kindled love
Crashed on him there.
One hundred & one years
Later it is happening

Again, this time with
An originary feeling
Like bog water—still, &
Studded with blood-
Rusted beads—a sweet
Ocean dream. There is no
Sound on these open seas
& my hands aren’t cold,
They’re just waiting

For a tree to split in half
& spew its resinous secrets
All over. The stone bleeds
In your palm so I am looking
For a hint in your face
That this century hasn’t killed
You, that you still feel love
As a collision-driven song—
Tart, red, possible, & enough.



The waxing

Crescent moon

Is almost as wide

As the little snake

You showed me

On the internet

Wrapped around

A bottlecap

Extremely fragile

Difficult to handle

And still

For all that

Worth saving


Gold-Trimmed Armor

It’s still six-thirty on my
Broken watch, where habits form

& the snow explains mistakes

The pure & empty form of
Time is filled up by a family
Of deer, each one taking a shot

At loving you fully & failing to
Differentiate between feeling &

Seeing exactly what it means
To turn away from all these
Memories, & toward this tired face


Pun Queen

One February
I will go missing
& only small wisps
Of your language
Will be able to prove
That I was ever here,
That I was ever not
Lifted bodily
By the frequency
Of the silence that
So often obtains
Between your words
& behind your teeth—
An intuitive magic
You do not intend
To weaponize,
But that still
Hurts my eyes
If I stare at it
Too long


Tom Snarsky teaches mathematics at Malden High School in Malden, Massachusetts, USA.

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