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

Podcast: Talia Lakshmi Kolluri on “The Good Donkey”

TALIA LAKSHMI KOLLURI
Talia Lakshmi Kolluri speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her story “The Good Donkey,” which appears in The Common’s spring issue. In this conversation, Kolluri talks about writing fiction from the perspectives of different animals, and where the inspiration for those stories comes from.

Mesquite plant

July 2021 Poetry Feature: Burlin Barr

BURLIN BARR
but the wolf tree was there and there was a place where // trophies hung: entire / bodies slung there in semi permanence // turning into everything / imaginable between a fresh body and shit and a variety // of trash; except Otis; he kept his right in front / of the house even

Image of Ravi Shankar and the Issue 21 cover.

Podcast: Ravi Shankar on “The Five-Room Box”

RAVI SHANKAR
Ravi Shankar speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his essay “The Five-Room Box,” which appears in The Common’s spring issue. In this conversation, Shankar talks about constructing this essay on identity, family, and fitting in from an excerpt of his memoir, Correctional, about his time spent in prison.