Thursday, December 3, 2020

Amanda Auerbach : Four poems



Hot to

I bought this book by the poet

I do not need.


The poet who read I felt bad

not buying to enjoy


the jokes

spaced out in poems.


I feel bad

too distracted


write more than can read

hot with anxiety


for reading. Problematic

cousin: said hot girls do not need to


is a sign

they are not. I acknowledge


a sign my mother

is the sister who does not


work. Else the hot are

too busy rewarded.


Next week instead of

reading my class will watch


a movie. Afraid I will pay

my students:


do not think I am hot or teach.

If I could it would


be I could not stop

now the movie is playing


I cannot stop.

I don’t have what I cannot do.


Head I Imagine Approach
Confusing I find it
          to have had a man not approach

          me with his head these six years.

          Well six years with the man who would

          if anyone.

          Used to enjoy I think would now

          though there is a reason I have not

          had it.

          Think about

          someone I do not particularly know

          a man my younger

          what would he have to feel

          about it? How is that possible

          I am still same

          enough to wish it. Confused

          why now not with him I have known

          why through other

I do not very well.
          Very far from approaching

          me with his head how

          remote it feels it could.



Dish Soap Petals


Care color not scent some care more.

Choose scentless dish soap blue for guests there is

not just myself.

Would not choose

lemon yellow for scent

I show prefer colors.




Prefer scent on self. Scent proof of clean:

bar soap laundry detergent

not amount needed

scent in future

proof cleaned.

Scent more important soap has no color

scent more important.





Scent of shampoo less important

verify squeak.

Scent does not function

too much shampoo

looks not clean

defeats purpose dish soap


Cannot feel how look

when hair clean cannot

tell appearance others.




Color of dish soap releases need lemon clean

dishes survive lack of scent.

Prefer dish soap blue

appearance of

others enables

my preference.       


Choose Same


Woman now camel-colored

sweater younger

twenty perhaps.

She lives in Cambridge

also different age

I was then. Do not

know what sensed

unlike woman twenty

warm-color sweater looks now

she will not be back then

but more so than ever.

Knows: I did not,

only now.

Why have I been?





Amanda Auerbach is a poet and literary critic. Her first book of poems What Need Have We For Such as We came out from C&R Press in fall 2019, and her poems have also appeared in The Paris Review, Conjunctions, Kenyon Review, and FENCE


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