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About this poet

Danusha Laméris was born in 1971 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the author of The Moons of August (Autumn House Press, 2014), selected by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the 2013 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize. She lives in Santa Cruz, California, and teaches writing worskhops.

The Watch

At night, my husband takes it off
puts it on the dresser beside his wallet and keys
laying down, for a moment, the accoutrements of manhood.
Sometimes, when he’s not looking, I pick it up
savor the weight, the dark face, ticked with silver
the brown, ostrich leather band with its little goosebumps
raised as the flesh is raised in pleasure.
He had wanted a watch and was pleased when I gave it to him.
And since we’ve been together ten years
it seemed like the occasion for the gift of a watch
a recognition of the intricate achievements
of marriage, its many negotiations and nameless triumphs.
But tonight, when I saw it lying there among
his crumpled receipts and scattered pennies
I thought of my brother’s wife coming home
from the coroner carrying his rings, his watch
in a clear, ziplock bag, and how we sat at the table
and emptied them into our palms
their slight pressure all that remained of him.
How odd the way a watch keeps going
even after the heart has stopped. My grandfather
was a watchmaker and spent his life in Holland
leaning over a clean, well-lit table, a surgeon of time
attending to the inner workings: spring,
escapement, balance wheel. I can’t take it back,
the way the man I love is already disappearing
into this mechanism of metal and hide,
this accountant of hours
that holds, with such precise indifference,
all the minutes of his life.

Copyright © 2016 Danusha Laméris. “The Watch” originally appeared in The American Poetry Review and Best American Poetry 2017. Used with permission of the author.

 

Copyright © 2016 Danusha Laméris. “The Watch” originally appeared in The American Poetry Review and Best American Poetry 2017. Used with permission of the author.

 

Danusha Laméris

Danusha Laméris

Danusha Laméris was born in 1971 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the author of The Moons of August (Autumn House Press, 2014), selected by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the 2013 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize. She lives in Santa Cruz, California, and teaches writing worskhops.

by this poet

poem

Out here, we read everything as a sign.
The coyote in its scruffed coat,
bending to eat a broken persimmon on the ground.
The mess of crows that fills the apple tree,
makes a racket, lifts off.
In between, quiet.
The winter fog is a blank.
I wish I could make sense
of the

poem

In those days, there was a woman in our circle
who was known, not only for her beauty,
but for taking off all her clothes and singing opera.
And sure enough, as the night wore on and the stars
emerged to stare at their reflections on the sea,
and everyone had drunk a little wine,
she

poem

Did she know
there was more to life
than lions licking the furred
ears of lambs,
fruit trees dropping
their fat bounty,
the years droning on
without argument?

Too much quiet
is never a good sign.
Isn’t there always
something itching
beneath the surface?