David Welch

David Welch has poems up online in venues including AGNI Online, Cerise Press, and Gulf Coast. Others are published or forthcoming in Kenyon Review Online and in print. He lives in Chicago.

Nude w/ Pitcher, Pablo Picasso, Oil on Canvas, 1904

“My Love and I are inventing a country…”
-Larry Levis

…when the pitcher tilted, nothing
but air spilt from its lip. The molded bowl
filled with a promise,
and in the mottled light of our studio
we sensed the foundations—

earth tones to mask each slip of the clay,
the musk scent of silt.

In our country,
light is horizon cloud
and harbor, dusk shades as shadow
on bare skin,
and my Love keeps

her hair tied back, the soil-toned coils
draped as if to outline her spine—each border

a thumb-smudged line
of oil to tempt the eye.
To examine is to notice
the allure in gesture, a tipped chin.
I imagine

our country in a gauzy light,
empty and fragile as an artisan’s bowl

(no function more held than the gift);
filled with broth or potpourri
the varnish wears and seeps,
but my Love stands
with the pitcher of our country

bare, with the taste on her lips.


Some Difference

for Peter

You are in the unsteady lake
but one poem is not a boat.

Or, you’re in the sea—
the sea is a chanting canyon.

Steer closer: see the salt-
tint cry of the gull’s wing?

Quelqu’un est à venir,
its feathers say. The feathers are

French though it doesn’t matter.
Our sea is no nonsense.