person T.M. Semrad, four poems

T.M. Semrad is a poet and writer. Her writing has appeared in Entropy, Nightingale & Sparrow, Pomme Journal and the Black Clock blog. She has an M.F.A. in Writing from the California Institute of the Arts and was a recipient of a UCLA Writing Project Fellowship.



My birth month May’s magic – Jacarandas
color the air lavender. Corolla
carpet streets and sidewalks so that the world
softens. Still tires and soles
crush petals into an oily smudge.
The world buried beneath a fairy haze
exudes a rank perfume.

Absent Affirmation
A selfie, my mother’s doppelganger, deleted


I celebrate father, hold up
his present, my face an aching grin
to give him a gift who gifted me. Later,
when I am grown,
he and I will walk together
alone, rehearsing for this future
on a dirt road between two irrigation ditches,
our two shadows stretched, his to the horizon
always pulling beyond my own.

Three Father’s Days
Photographs, without my mother, one print, two digital


The moment will have
happened behind houses and
trees without my knowing –
                                          she pulls
back from her ledge – the moment
when the dark lightens – she
                                  tugs the rope
      free – so
what I thought black wasn’t
so. Which is the same thing. The light changes
the dark. It emerges, a hummingbird
      wet from its egg.

Dark Lightens
A polaroid of my daughter


A space exists between molecules of chair
and molecules of floor, imperceptible
separation. I examine the dark line between
wood slats and each wooden support where
I cannot fit my fingers.

Only, the floor attracts the chair by unseen
force, so that nothing seems to float. All
appears at rest, this house within the earth
that cradles me – you, the gravity that holds
me in place.

Still, a path, an interval persists between
baseboard and slat, viewed through columns
of legs, between house and earth, between
you and me. So I float. My hand glides across
this page and air stirs beneath the chair. You
that hold me, you give me the ability to rise.

The Chair Where I Sit
A photograph, on my writing desk, of my husband




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