Jeff Schiff


Here's the drill sweetthang

Call me on my

or the princesa’s


when you've collected your

equipaje (that's Spanish for

excess already lugged)

We'll be hovering

in the can’t loiter

During said exchange

you'll let us know from

which vestibule

(that's bureaucratic formal for

simultaneous in & out) you'll be emerging

We'll meet you

in the far bolgia (that's

Dante for where they gather to smoke


We'll be driving a black CR-V

You'll be wearing a coreopsis

pinned to your chignon

and half-waving Donn'll be

jiggy in sweet relief

Fly friendly


for you too long

The cops are a bitch

Easily Withheld

Do not question the mother

who tires early

of nursing the wind

and ushers her offspring

into the lee of a vacant lot

Do not

question the mother

who sates herself

encouraging no compromise

the mother whose accommodations

are thin milk

and semen from any quarter

dark allotments in dank retreats

who cannot dote on consolation

whose bewilderment lasts

ever and ever

occupying both margin

and text

In addition to That hum to go by (Mammoth books), Jeff Schiff is the author of Mixed Diction, Burro Heart, The Rats of Patzcuaro, The Homily of Infinitude, and Anywhere in this Country. His work has appeared in more than a hundred publications worldwide, including The Alembic, The Cincinnati Review, Grand Street, The Ohio Review, Poet & Critic, Tulane Review, Tampa Review, The Louisville Review, Tendril, Pembroke Magazine, Carolina Review, Chicago Review, Hawaii Review, Southern Humanities Review, River City (The Pinch), Indiana Review, Willow Springs, and The Southwest Review. He is currently serving as the interim dean of the school of graduate studies at Columbia College Chicago, where he has been on faculty since 1987.

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