New Books in Poetry: Amy Schreibman Walter – Houdini’s Wife and Other Women

Amy Schreibman Walter is an American poet living in the U.K. Her highly visual poems of American women, wives and lovers span the decades of the 20th century. Amy’s poems explore the distances between real and imaginary, between art and life, and between longing and love. Find out more here: www.amyschreibmanwalter.com or follow Amy on Twitter: @amyswalter. TO PURCHASE
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YOU TOOK ME TO THE FRICK

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And we paused for a long time together

in the room with the Goya, that painting

you liked so much – stout Spanish men, axes

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in their rough hands, bashing metal, making

something, or destroying.

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What was important was the rendering,

the ambition, you told me, your brow

furrowing, your fingers

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in my fingers. You said it was the one

painting in the whole building that didn’t fit,

placed near so many doe eyed, elegant women –

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so many women in the Frick. Against

the roughness of men, in sweat –

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parched by sun, ripped shorts; neighbors

to fashionable women standing in hallways,

parlor rooms. Muscles, hammers, tongs.

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And I recall how sudden your lips were

under the darkness of Goya’s men,

under the domed ceiling.

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Your tongue found mine while

men on the wall were hammering,

hunched over an amorphous metal,

delivering strong, steady blows.

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