That Other Flesh

[Photo: a Pina Bausch group dance performance of Iphigenie auf Tauris. An older poem of mine about growing up bilingually. ‘Omi’ is German for grandma.]

That Other Flesh

Bare front yard concrete driveway, a single
small frangipanni shrivels its furrowed grey
elephant skin near the grey paling fence, up
the red brick steps hot in the sun to the threshold:

now speak. German. Another. World.
Brown linoleum hallway, or is it carpet,
to the dining room. Mother there, or kitchen?
Maybe just the spicy dream-world smells

from an Asian boarder’s cooking,
into the bedroom shared with Omi
where mornings we play ‘I spy’ in German,
the armchair with the polished dark

brown wooden rests that prop my arm
holding up a child’s head heavy
with listening to the white wireless,
the wide glowing dial, little green neon

wand I can move to the unknown reaches
of the unseen world full of soft maternal
English voices telling Argonaut stories,
the thrill of Tarzan’s chest-beat yodel,

Clark Kent closing the phone booth door
followed by Superman’s bullet flight,
the dial against which, listening, I press,
peacefully embalmed in fantasy like a baby

at the breast, my small nibbled thumbnail
to see the warm light
coming through all
that other flesh.


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on May 16, 2014.

3 Responses to “That Other Flesh”

  1. i’m conjuring up images of escaping into memories & fantasy…would that i could make the best of them come true…

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