Susan Rich

Extreme Close-up
February 23, 2019 Rich Susan

Extreme Close-up

All the things I love about his face come from movement:
the fishtail lines, sketched just above the edges
of his cheekbones, a tadpole of a mustache which appears,
then disappears inked along the philtrum—trimmed
to obscure the future. And yes, my father’s ears do resemble
oyster shells, sculptures adorned with an outcropping of hair.
Praise be to his widow’s peak—un-furrowed and furrowed
like a sail for survival; to his small mouth now open—
ready for a lobster tail or a knish. And somewhere,
perhaps burnishing his jaw or dimpled chin, his father’s
early death and the knowledge of his own. I scan the code
in his crescent-shaped eyes. My eyes. DNA spiraling
along a similar shoreline. The taking and giving
back of deep waters; his wonderment hooked to sorrow.

Susan Rich is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, Cloud Pharmacy, published by White Pine Press. Her awards include a PEN USA Award, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Times Literary Supplement Award. Rich’s poems have appeared in the Antioch Review, New England Review, O Magazine, Pleiades, and elsewhere.