John Belk

low angle photography of building showing airplane on skies
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on


A Wish Geometry by John Belk

We mull on integration, the area under
a curve, derivation of asymptotes, how faint
neroli might approach an absent lover’s scent
and never be right. In October, a couple fight
about a cat, a stray. And having known
before that disappointment spreads in curls
across the lips—one relents. We wonder
at over-connection: that light shimmer in
distant space was once tupelo leaves
or orange blossom or seeds like miniature
pomegranates or small, angled mangoes
stylized on a kilim. That longing is a function
of geometry and time. That brightness—half-
particle, half-ineffable—might save us all.

First published in Sugar House Review (Vol. 11, 2019). Reprinted with permission by the author.

John Belk is an assistant professor of English at Southern Utah University, where he directs the writing program. His poetry has recently appeared in Crosswinds, Cathexis Northwest, Cheat River review, Arkansas Review, Wraparound South, among others. His work has been selected as a finalist for the Autumn House Rising Writer Contest, the Cathexis Chapbook Contest, the Autumn House Poetry Prize, the Comstock Writers group Chapbook Contest, and as a semifinalist for the Vassar Miller Award.