Peter Krumbach

Two poems from Peter Krumbach’s Me Not Me

followed by a note on the author


—for S.M.

This time I will have a brother.
And the woman across the table slicing
bread will be my mother, my sister still
inside her. From the door I will hear voices

of two priests who’ll soon stand
behind my father’s chair. The sound of rain
on leaves so near, and death breathing
so gently, my life will have no end.

I will think of the Christmas carp circling
in the bathtub, and of all the teeth reflected
in our spoons. I will cut my finger to show
the finch my blood. And I will sing

as the dead sing in dreams, mouths opened
to wafers, the tune dissolving on our tongues.
This time I will smile at the potato steam
lifting my grandmother’s heart.

It will be me and not me, the way light
can never fit into itself.


And Somehow a Dog

And somehow a dog

And someway a sow

And anyhow a walking stick

And however a caribou

And ergo a mole dreaming of sight

And duly an adverb safari

And indeed looking for hitherto

And hence a god’s dogwalker letting go

And therefore the hounds fleeing heaven

And nonetheless the crows always know

And nevertheless your face in the mule’s eye

And accordingly an ostrich egg rolling

And henceforth settling at your feet



Loop first appeared in The Greensboro Review; And Somehow a Dog first appeared in Denver Quarterly

Peter Krumbach was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia. After graduating with a degree in visual arts, he left the country, and eventually found his way to the U.S. He worked in commercial art (New York), as a translator and broadcaster (Washington, D.C.), and, for the last 25 years, has lived and written in Southern California. His collection Degrees of Romance, winner of the 2022 Antivenom Poetry Award, is forthcoming from Elixir Press.