Two Poems

Poetry by Joshua Michael Stewart


I’ve never been nostalgic, especially about nostalgia.
You won’t hear me say my grandmother’s apple pie
was the best I’ve ever eaten. Everything she cooked

tasted like cigarettes. I loved my boyhood friends
for who they were in the moments that we were, but
those novels are complete, no need for epilogues.

There’re times in my life, I’d say, were the best times
of my life, but I still have no desire to revisit them
because every breath I breathe, I breathe now.

Since the age of thirty-nine, I’ve had a premonition
I’d die at forty-two. No good reason why, just did.
I’m four months away from my forty-third birthday,

still time to be right, I guess. I don’t mourn my youth,
never cared for it. When I was a kid, I’d daydream
about when I’d be an old man sitting in a lawn chair

at the edge of a driveway, how I’d wave to the cars,
how I’d scare small children with the dead bird I’d keep
in my breast pocket. That’s what I’d call good ol’ days.


I cannot unlearn to swallow
honey-glazed peaches, call shadows
anything but, Brother. I’ll shake
boughs sugared with years of snow, toss out
the cat, shoo it homeward
to kin, offering in mouth. Beating wings.

Joshua Michael Stewart has had poems published in the Massachusetts Review, Salamander, Rattle, Brilliant Corners, Talking River Review, and many others. His first full-length collection of poems, Break Every String, was published by Hedgerow Books in 2016. Visit him at

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