Richard Brostoff 

World’s Body
Remembering last night, all day your body lingers
in what’s seen. The movement of the pond seems lithe,
abstract, arrested in time. In the brook’s falling
cascades I sense the pinned knot of your hair
shake loose, and in the stream’s meandering
                                                                your fluent spine.

All day, the shore ferns tremble, and slow wings
of unnamed birds unfold inside my mind.
A rhythm opens: rush of falling water,
the dappled dawn light scaling the sea wall,
scraping clean the duck weed swirling
on the rising lake. And a strange perfume
of bark and nuts and moss unfolds inside the trees.
dusting the leaves, the undergrowth, layering
what’s seen with a hunger for the pond’s extended

All day on swollen dunes, the long grass sways
and yields to wind. All things undulant and paired
surrender to their nature; two egrets wheel low
along a lake’s perimeter, their sear wings
brushed with rims of flame,
                                                                etched against an ether sky.

All day, the shore’s red claws remind me of the long
curve of your lips, softening the swelling coast,
wetted and licked clean by the rising tide,
because the small waves of your movement
inhabit the day’s swoon everywhere,
everywhere mirage and memory of last night,
your body opening its water channels,
so that today the full rain rushes down to me,
                                                                fluent, unafraid, released,

until the body of the lake becomes your body,
the wheeling gulls inside the trees your thoughts,
the sky above a palm traced tenderly above my eyes,
and the lake itself a liquid skin, receiving me,
inviting me in, until I feel pulled and pulled
                                                                into the world’s body. 


Richard Brostoff is the author of two chapbooks, A Few Forms of Love (Finishing Line Press, 2012) and Momentum ( La Vitta Poetica, 2007). His poems have been published in Atlanta Review, RATTLE, Texas Review and Verse Daily, as well as many other journals. A recent finalist for the Iowa Review Poetry Prize, he has been the recipient of the AEI International Poetry Award, an international publication award from the Atlanta Review, and an editor’s choice award from The Anthology of New England Poetry.  He practices psychiatry in the Boston area.