Poetry by Todd Dillard

Read More: A brief interview with Todd Dillard

Persimmons

I have never seen a persimmon
outside of a poem

I imagine the persimmon
is a soft fruit
supple as nostalgia

the persimmon’s titian juices
linger on the mouth
like the farewell lips of a lover
about to board a ship

you cannot
carry a persimmon
in a mouth heated by rage

the persimmon is served best
with lust’s impatient simmer

or the cold Oh
of sudden loss

please
do not hand me a paper
bag filled with sweet
bruised persimmons

I could not bear living
if I happened to be right

if I knew dreams
could come true
but only a few

only the persimmon

which grows
in the orchard rows
of these and other lines

and rots in the hand
when the hand crumples

the page

untitled

 

Adipocere

A corpse will shirk
the chore of putrefaction
given the right conditions:
airless damp, like a secret
staling behind sealed lips,
darkness only the dead know,
time enough for gone
to metamorph into forgotten.
Skin cells and lipocytes shed
their water, bacteria feast,
until a “grave wax” encases the body and,
so sealed, the body remains. So perfect
is the preservation, evidence of a life lived
lingers; a turnip’s ponderous forehead
lost in intestinal coils; the moon-
scarred lungs of tuberculosis;
the blue, hand-shaped bruise
of a murderous father. Once, in the 1800s,
a doctor scraped the residue off
a mummy’s tender skin […]


Subscribers can read the full version by logging in.
Not a subscriber? Sequestrum is a pay-what-you-can journal:
Our rates are variable so that everyone can enjoy outstanding literature.
Access this and all our bi-weekly publications (and submit for free).

Subscribe Today



untitled

Slow Wake with Hangover

Breath like bread staling
hardens. Hands linked in a firm
sadness–think: two people
playing Red Rover with the ocean.
Seagulls tearing the air, foam-
sand nibbling the heels. Eyelids
opening with a sound like oranges
peeling, but by what? A gaze?
A dream horse-startled?
And that wind–like a sheet
rustling as a body turns over.
Turns away. It is dark in this awareness […]


Subscribers can read the full version by logging in.
Not a subscriber? Sequestrum is a pay-what-you-can journal:
Our rates are variable so that everyone can enjoy outstanding literature.
Access this and all our bi-weekly publications (and submit for free).

Subscribe Today



___________________________________

Todd Dillard received his MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies, Electric Literature, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Split Lip, and Best New Poets. He is the recipient of a grant from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and his chapbook “The Drowned Hymns” is available from Jeanne Duval Editions.

Read More: A brief interview with Todd Dillard