Cheryl J. Fish

Vacuumed-Packed Poem

Ethereal music formed on the edge of calm
Jumped electronic gym dandy
Morning coffee fog
Grey, slow-limbed
Slingshot birds disintegrate
Tornadoes grind through towns

Musical interlude
Subject to subjectivity
Love and mud inside
Cut me some slack

I danced for you.

Lovers in Black

After Marc Chagall

Compare us to the couple kissing
in Chagall’s India-ink drawing.

She bears down on him ghoulish and proud, dark-eyed.
He hesitates.

Chagall’s postcard adorns my cabinet.
You and me—our dark theatrical days.

Chassidic souls brimming with song. Russian nights,
Belted drinks. On the roof you parted

my legs beyond the frum family’s barbeque
Jostling love and fecklessness.

Chagall’s young man turns into a beast.
Their lips brush. He clutches fire.

She fits like a card in his pocket.
Love and art—such fruitful madness — how do they endure?

Flying cows and chortling roosters, kisses that miss the mark.
Victory obtained in black. Plush. Obscure.

Cheryl J. Fish's poems have appeared in Hanging Loose, Maintenant, Terrain, Mom Egg Review, New American Writing, Reed, Postcard poems, Santa Monica Review, ISLE and Poetics for the More-than-Human-World. Her most recent books of poems and photographs is The Sauna is Full of Maids (Shanti Arts), celebrating Finnish sauna culture, travel, and friendships. Her debut novel Off the Yoga Mat, the story of three characters “coming of middle age,” will be published by Livingston Press/UWA on Oct. 20, 2022.