John Rodzvilla: “Port O’Connor”

Port O’Connor

A carpenter shaped the table 
A medium uses to contact the dead. 
Has she ever run her finger over a whorl 
To hear the tree sing its life?

I tried to read about the starfish that dot 
The sky down south, the ones left in tide shifts. 
The ones that crawl over lovers on beaches
In Texas, but small spots prevented
The words from forming,
Always forming,
Always foaming,
Like vinegar on an open cut.

I once tried bleach but it made our limbs too brittle.

It could have been the sun,
Or the sugar in the blood,
Or the sap in the xylem,
Or the toddler screaming in the pool,
Or the swimmers who formed a union 
To combat the entrenched disinterest.

You choose. 
I need to find my eye-patch before this 
Becomes a nightlong battle with a migraine.

Later Orion will skinny dip in the motel pool,
His sword over by the lounge chair. 
I got a little lost looking to find my way back, 
Reading the guide book under the winter sky.

When the clock strikes twelve
It has no arms to hold me.


John Rodzvilla teaches in the Publishing and Writing programs at Emerson College in Boston. His work has recently appeared in Harvard Review, gorseDecomP, and the Alexandria Review.

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