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

Messy desk in an office

May 2024 Poetry Feature: Pissed-Off Ars Poetica Sonnet Crown

REBECCA FOUST
Fuck you, if I want to put a bomb in my poem / I’ll put a bomb there, & in the first line. / Granted, I might want a nice reverse neutron bomb / that kills only buildings while sparing our genome / but—unglue the whole status-quo thing, / the canon can-or-can’t do? 

Leila Chatti

My Sentimental Afternoon

LEILA CHATTI
Around me, the stubborn trees. Here / I was sad and not sad, I looked up / at a caravan of clouds. Will you ever / speak to me again, beyond / my nightly resurrections? My desire / displaces, is displaced. / The sun unrolls black shadows / which halve me. I stand.

picture of dog laying on the ground, taken by bfishadow in flickr

Call and Response

TREY MOODY
My grandmother likes to tell me dogs / understand everything you say, they just can’t / say anything back. We’re eating spaghetti / while I visit from far away. My grandmother / just turned ninety-four and tells me dogs / understand everything you say. / They just can’t say anything back.