Back to Issue Twenty.

what’s bottled breaks



Not at first
like the letter that doesn’t come, but the one that does
& makes no sound as it holds the room.
This morning, rain
arrives on the sill & words rise to mind & fall like swells
on the piano & never cease to surprise,
at least in Florida
with riptides & surrender. The Sunshine State.
Between beaches,
just two days ago, I considered the world mapped.
Today the roads are rearranged & the cities mislabeled—
maybe the state is broken,
or my own is, or yours—
birds losing direction & sense, unbecoming
themselves in pulled feathers & song. Even the resident
mockingbird cleans her wings, shrugs.
What magnetism
drives this? Maybe the new moon is fornicating the sun,
& we’ll have hurricanes in winter.
What sound would that make?
Does whispering in your ear bring a rise? I have imagined
falling in love again, something I no longer thought possible,
but in this crescendo unresolved,
you appear again & again.
What are the odds? I read a story yesterday of a West Coast boy
finding a message in a bottle
after decades at sea.


Tanya Grae is the author of the forthcoming chapbook Little Wekiva River (2017, Five Oaks Press). Her poems have recently appeared in AGNI, New Ohio Review, Fjords, New South, The Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, Post Road, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Bennington College and teaches at Florida State University while pursuing her doctorate. See:

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