Back to Issue Thirteen.




The green island of your life will recede.

It will hover above its reflection
as the boat cuts its wake and a white

lip curls steadily from the sea—

the harder you grip the rail and stare
the more there will be no apparent change

but the shore will nonetheless flatten
into a dark line then only the idea

of a dark line so that when you look

away and then back you will not
be certain where it is & how you stand

in relation to what is no longer there.


Changes will alter the knit of your body.

Not these hands gripping the boat rail
now made of fine-grained vapor

but the body you left on the kitchen floor

where its weave of ligature
grows slack as it sheds its

memory of habitual movements
and coagulations and chemical shifts

occur as if you were a warm
loaf left cooling on a countertop—

Michael Bazzett’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, 32 Poems, Sixth Finch and Best New Poets. He is the author of the chapbook The Imaginary City (OW! Arts, 2012). His first full-length collection, You Must Remember This, was the winner of the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry; it will be published in the fall of 2014 by Milkweed Editions.

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