Judith Skillman



November Drear


I come to the threshold
where leaves lie like hands
plastered to earth. I come
anyway, whether or not
your welcome forebodes
or presumes. You the old-kin
stuck to a bit of sorrow
twinned with pain and its cousins—
depression, rumination.

Who else arrives marbled
with rain-bands? I’m the groom
you must marry, regardless.
It’s been arranged, the dowry
taken care of by those
in the beforelands, their youth
a signet upon your cherub skin.

All mourning’s latticed
by the last glistening porch.
Rub slobber-kisses
stuck to your cheeks,
you the child of a child,
a gland dressed in lacquer.




Judith Skillman

Judith Skillman’s recent book is Kafka’s Shadow, Deerbrook Editions. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Shenandoah, Zyzzyva, FIELD, and elsewhere. Awards include an Eric Mathieu King Fund grant from the Academy of American Poets. A new collection, Premises of Light, is forthcoming from Tebot Bach. Visit www.judithskillman.com