Jacob Strautmann

The Garden

Boston is the middle of my life.
The thatched roof over the middle of my life
And the fire turning in the middle of my life

Are yours. To be cold there in our corner
Bedroom—the evening whir of an electric heater
That can’t forstall the inevitable
Nor’easters like violins, Anxiety licking
Her length by the clock, Orion and his club
Passing silently over—
With promises deep and as far away as spring,
Where the pink bulb of a hot water bottle you place
Between us heats us like a coal
Drawn from the bed of heat itself: to be cold
And find warmth, a wall blank in the early morning
The sprig of moonrise prisms and simmers,
Is finding valor where I expected none.
A gale of cherry blossom would have said as much,
And wouldn’t have said as much.

Jacob Strautmann’s debut book of poems, The Land of the Dead Is Open for Business, is available from Four Way Books. His second, New Vrindaban, is forthcoming in Fall 2024. His poems have appeared in The Boston Globe, The Appalachian Journal, Southern Humanities Review, and Blackbird. www.jacobstrautmann.com