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Julia Guez, “Epithalamium”

Julia Guez, “Epithalamium”

Author: Poetry Editor

April 16, 2012

This week, two new poems by Julia Guez.


Leave the lily alone and gild the finger.
++Platinum is dactylic, after all.

Moon over Massachusetts, you are so civil.
++You exceed expectation.

We can do without a week in Martinique,
++Glenlivet and cunnilingus:

this is not a film.  Besides
++no water need redden into wine.


A willing Anchises I don’t know (and by that, I mean a guide or guides). One
underworld for each of us—perhaps the task is to figure it out on our own,

not stop to ask whose shoulders to square the hips on, how
to fit one foot then the next into the palm of a hand belonging

to the demi-god who, shortcomings and all, presumably passed this way before. No
antidote to overthinking—not here, at least:

the magpie on the branch above us colludes with the plenteous palm
until we’re both conscious of wanting to enjoy this more than we do,

or to enjoy it less abstractly, but the torque of the mind at work, the din of it trying
to order all of this in language—the river

we swing alongside, the hammock and the shade, the humming all of these
(as if nothing exists outside of what we name, or exists in a form

we fail again to understand without another
medium to interpose). Say what hurts then,

say where. Say we only sit and look at the ocean
for so long and say why.

The forecast is vast and musical, say. The inverse is also true
especially in situations like this one.

The impulse to catalogue everything finally spent,
I know you feel foreign to yourself, you feel foreign to me as well.

Home is a question of this and that frequency then something akin
to silence—a word

for which my lexicon can’t supply a cognate,
only second-rate approximations: gestures, mostly, tokens,

a being here together on the same side of this ocean,
the sound canceling itself out across so many distances,

nothing other than this to say,
a small aperture opening between the phrases.


JULIA GUEZ is a Fulbright Fellow with a Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University.  Her poetry and prose has appeared or will soon be forthcoming in BOMBLog, The Brooklyn Rail, Coldfront, Court Green, DIAGRAM and Washington Square.

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About: Poetry Editor

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