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Focal Length

Posted by Wild Musette editor on

Focal Length

by F.J. Bergmann

After Politics, Kelli Hoppmann, oil on panel, 2004



You always dream that your gown is sliding off,

as if it intended to slip away to a different party

on its own. Your friends are spending the summer

faster than ever, in a frothing, mad-dog delirium,


their myopic sights fixated on the nearest object

of desire, which would not be anything lasting—

in contrast to those who are perfectly convinced

that they are amassing grave goods, being wound


in saffron and ivory satin, sleek skins held on

with pearl buttons tugged through surgical slits.

Comes the day when you will choose to be buried

deep in your own mausoleum, a secure homeland,


under alternating layers of sweet and bitter herbs,

gaze locked on the underside of a heavy, golden lid.



F. J. Bergmann edits poetry for Mobius: The Journal of Social Change (mobiusmagazine.com), and imagines tragedies on or near exoplanets. Work appears irregularly in Analog, Asimov's, Polu Texni, Pulp Literature, Silver Blade, and other places. A Catalogue of the Further Suns won the 2017 Gold Line Press poetry chapbook contest.


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