Two poems · Robert Bohm

Hotel La Caravelle, Martinique

A terrace outside the room. Weeds
grow through cracked concrete, a bottle
of warm beer stands on the broken table.
To the side, the orchid darkens as the sun
splashes down in flames, steam rising
from the heads of boiled fish, cockeyed
in the pot we all live in.
One knapsack and a few books
I never wrote, this is what I own.
A few hours ago, Miguel, the clerk, accepting
my gold chain and earring, said
“Tomorrow morning at seven. Out.”

In the monkey’s shadow where the gecko
scoots between two stones then disappears
only to reappear two minutes later
crawling upside down on the bathroom ceiling,
that’s when I first notice it, how
I can’t keep up with what’s going on,
the monkey gone before I know it and then, later
when I glance at the bathroom ceiling, the gecko
isn’t there either and neither anywhere
in these rooms are you, legs spread someplace else
as always, fucking another man
in Puerto Rico, or this time is it Arizona?


The mind made up of other minds, all of them
humming near the fragrances they want

My body is the sunlight beating little wings
above the nude you’s every inch

Look at them over there, the bees
swarming the coneflowers

On the ground, fecund with sweat
in my arms, you are the hot grass opening up
into the bright darkness of openings still unknown

Much later you smell of the rosewood soap
I wash you with, although

in an affair like this
we never can get clean, unless,

in spite of everything,
we do