william doreski

A Brown Plush Bison

A brown plush bison with plastic horns.
Fondling it, I wonder
About the sex lives of full-scale bison,
The appeal of the hump
And thick, arrogant tail,
The look of stupor and wonder mixed
In its slowly evolved expression.

Hardtack

This morning’s oven-fresh muffin
hurts like antique hardtack—
a busted tooth with every crumb.

The crowd slurping coffee sways
like peonies. One man bears
the face of a loan shark. Another
looks bluff as J. Edgar Hoover.

As I read the Globe to make certain
all my favorite sports teams lost,
the muffin shatters in my hand
like a grenade I’ve held too long.

William Doreski teaches at Keene State College in New Hampshire. His most recent collection of poetry is Waiting for the Angel (2009). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors.  His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals, including Massachusetts Review, Atlanta Review, Notre Dame Review, The Alembic, New England Quarterly, Worcester Review, Harvard Review, Modern PhilologyAntioch Review, and Natural Bridge.