The Lifesaver

by L. S. KLATT
 

The lifesaver found himself on a fire escape reading
a set of instructions. Step 1 directed him to match
the conflagration in his mind with a facsimile
that appeared in a diagram on the page.
That much was obvious, but Step 2 required careful
application: facing the riot & attempting to
extinguish it. This was complicated by the reality
that before him were hoses, claws, rakes, hooks, & wrenches—tools
which, it seemed, had something to do with firefighting.
What the volunteer had envisioned was a collapsed barn
in the middle of a swale, horses trampling a stand of green
rushes, a canoe overturned waterside. Below
him, however, being lobbed from the street, Molotov cocktails
troubled the semblance. Yet he continued to fancy
panicked mares fleeing the imaginary barn as it erupted
into blaze. The rushes added a dreaminess. To his
way of thinking, the fugitives represented
a roving ardor bereft of wisdom. Fair enough.
The rest of his company worked just out of sight; the truth
of the occupied city block was new to the lifesaver.

 

[Purchase Issue 14 here.]

L. S. Klatt‘s poems have appeared or will appear in Surface, Copper Nickel, Sycamore Review, the Kenyon Review Online, Denver Quarterly, and Bateau. His fourth book, a collection of prose poems entitled The Wilderness After Which, came out from Otis Books (Seismicity Editions) in 2017.

Isabel MeyersThe Lifesaver

Related Posts

Tesserae Flyer

Tesserae Poetry Feature: Part Two

LESLIE MARIE AGUILAR
Half past eleven & the desert shoulders a sequence of stars for the eighth year in a row. Maia. Electra. Alcyone. Taygete. I call each saddled sister by name. Asterope. Celaeno. Merope. Imagine what it must be like to be illuminated. Stitched into an unraveling tapestry.

tesserae flyer

Tesserae Poetry Feature: Part One

KIRUN KAPUR, MARÍA LUISA ARROYO, OCEAN VUONG
Begin with a seed. Begin with the father and the mother, your first Adam and Eve. Begin with what falls from the tree: you can live on bruised and sweet. Begin with a monsoon breeze, begin with a flood, begin with miles of silk and mud and the wings of cranes...

March 2018 Poetry Feature: Print Preview

JILL MCDONOUGH, OKSANA MAKSYMCHUK, JOHN ALLEN TAYLOR
I've read about Waterloo teeth, how we prowled / battlefields, plucked teeth from young French corpses, / wired them up to make fresh rich people mouths. / I figure we're about to learn the founding father's teeth / were from his soldiers.