Two Poems

by Tom Healy

Rituals of Marriage


Unlike mint, you don’t
stay on the tongue.

More like water,
rain that needs salt.

What haunts the mouth
is not rage’s sugar

dissolving, but the taste
of us evaporating.



Someone has toyed
with the history.
Was it you?

Events rearranged,
my good dolls broken.
Who took liberties,

sat in the chair,
decided not to eat?
Who left warmth

in these sheets?
Everything here
was to stay cold.


Suburban Life

A table of spiders
passing business cards,
cursing wind
and upended brooms,
stories of bad business.

The fat one in the corner
tries to keep them all
laughing, spinning
making fun of prey.


Tom Healy is the chair of Creative Time and president of Fence magazine. His poems and criticism have appeared in Salmagundi, the Yale Review, the Paris Review, and other literary journals and anthologies. He is a new contributing editor at BOMB.

suburban life
Summer 2004
The cover of BOMB 88