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Tim Suermondt

JOB HUNTING

I’m overqualified for this.
not qualified for that.

And when I inquire at the local
pizzeria the manager says,

“Tim, I can’t hire you. You’d
eat most of the pies before

anyone else could get a bite.”
I buy a small pepperoni pizza,

twirling the box over my head
in my apartment’s kitchen,

aping the way the old pizza makers
used to treat the precious dough.

The sun trickles through a light
rain, the first slice I take shines.

A PHOTO OF MY WIFE
WHEN SHE WAS A TEENAGER

You can detect the determination even then
and you swear you can hear her about to declare
“I love you, Hong Kong, but I’m leaving for good”—
her lips savoring the words she’s always wanted to say.
Unseen and a number of streets down on the right
her father is returning from work, stepping off the ferry,
passing the fishmongers clustered like star snappers
from one end of the pier to the other, a light rain sizzling
under the hot sun, and a number of streets down
on the left her mother is preparing supper, an egg dish
she’s made her own, a concoction the family loves.
My wife will swing her schoolbag, skip past the classic
buildings, the junk boats that will last only a few more
years and dream of her getaway on the dark, blue water.







Tim Suermondt is the author of five full-length collections of poems, the latest JOSEPHINE BAKER SWIMMING POOL from MadHat Press, 2019. He has published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Stand Magazine, december magazine, Gargoyle, On the Seawall, Poet Lore and Plume, among many others. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.

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