About this poet

Mark Yakich is the author of The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine (Penguin, 2008). He teaches at Loyola University New Orleans.

You Are Not a Statue

Mark Yakich
And I am not a pedestal.

We are not a handful of harmless
scratches on pale pink canvas.
Today is not the day to stop

looking for the woman
to save you. What was once
ivory is wood. What was once

whalebone is cotton.
My coif and corset are duly
fastened, and your shirttail is

tied in a diamond knot. 
You may be the giver
of unappreciated nicknames

and the devoted artist 
who has given my still life
life. But we can never reach

each other's standards.
You want to condemn me
to eternity. I want to make you

no more perfect than you
used to be. We are not
together, we are not alone. 

From Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross by Mark Yakich, published by Penguin. Copyright © 2004 by Mark Yakich. Reprinted by permission of Penguin. All rights reserved.

From Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross by Mark Yakich, published by Penguin. Copyright © 2004 by Mark Yakich. Reprinted by permission of Penguin. All rights reserved.

Mark Yakich

Mark Yakich is the author of The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine (Penguin, 2008). He teaches at Loyola University New Orleans.

by this poet

poem

When I was a boy and my fist
Would land into my father’s arm,

I’d cry out, and he’d say
Didn’t hurt me none.

He’s been dead six years now,
And my work is still to try

To beat myself up
And make the pain last.