Lobster Trap

By GARY J. WHITEHEAD

Then our hearts grew claws
and we lived in a cold reach,
twice-a-day tides, 
the lows and the highs, 
and we were drawn to our desires
salted and seeping from a bag.
What we thought was happiness
was set and tied and marked
in a rocking up above us,
one end a buoy,
colored and numbered,
the other end a cage.
And because all work 
demands a wage, 
we walked along the bottom
toward the funnel of the future,
in through the wide end
and out through the narrow,
and found ourselves in a kitchen
and then a parlor,
where we waited, 
hungry still,
to be lifted.

[Purchase Issue 21 here.] 

 

Gary J. Whitehead’s most recent books are Strange What Rises and A Glossary of Chickens.

Lobster Trap

Related Posts

textured sand

January 2022 Poetry Feature

MADELEINE MORI
A. and I were both hurt by that cold, hard change, / the snap of my leg bones. / I saw the root in the trail as a swag-bellied dog / with a cape I wanted to support— / both dog and sneaker flying as one. / When they came, Search and Rescue’s tools unbent my pain.

headshot of Elvira Hernandez

Translation: Poems by Elvira Hernández

ELVIRA HERNÁNDEZ
nowhere / anywhere / would poets meet dressed as beacons / if their mirrors were not fogged / if their mirrors were not fogged / they would have seen the mandorla set sail / perhaps at this hour they are filing claims /to recover their lost luggage / agreed: that’s not the teide

blackbird upon a puddle

Translation: Poetry by Esther Ramón

ESTHER RAMÓN
Two of those brief animals / that populated the branches / and the furniture made useless / by humidity and neglect. / They were separated / From time that burns as it passes, / from this insignificance, / from the feeding cycle, / my desires in the shredded remains