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Lawrence Schimel

Lawrence Schimel was born in New York City in 1971. He received a BA from Yale University.  He is the author of the poetry chapbooks Deleted Names (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2013) and Fairy Tales for Writers (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2007). His translations from the Spanish include Jordi Doce’s Nothing Is Lost: Selected Poems (Shearman Books, 2017). Schimel lives in Madrid, Spain.

By This Poet


Deleting Names (A Decaying Sestina)

Scrolling through the at-the-limit list of names,
I’m caught unaware: my phone displays a friend
I’ll never be able to call again.
Now that all that’s left of her are memories
I can’t delete her entry, it seems too final,
as if it would erase our entire past together.

Phones are democratic: jumbled together
are lovers and colleagues, name after name
in alphabetical order. It was she who finally
convinced me to get a phone; the day my friend
and I went to buy it is still a vivid memory:

I was having one of those lapses of memory;
not long before, he and I had spent the night together. 
We run into him on the street; both he and my friend
expect an introduction, but I’ve forgotten his name.

I’ve now forgotten so many boys; only their names
remain, stored in my phone’s memory.
Those I can delete, but not my friend’s.

It’s as if all that remains of our friend-
ship is this metonymy of her name

on a SIM-card full of memories and names.