The man lay in the sun, his red skin
pitted, secrets of divinity hidden
within each divot. Sweat-
lavish, harum-scarum faced.
My father thought the man was dead.
That’s why he stopped the car.
I thought the man looked magnificent
in his drunken stupor on the side
of the road, a gleaming god
of armistice, swallowing sun
……………………………..until he glowed.
My father’s eyes, blinded
by the shades he wore,
missed the opulence
of the moment.
It slid across his lenses
like wasted water,
as he skidded wheels
in haste, drove on.
I carry the man inside me now.
Knocking against my drumming
Lifted from the side of a dirt
road. Pocketed within folds
The pavement outside my apartment building has a
crack that reminds me of India; in its intriguing,
peculiar beauty, not its shape.
I draw my foot down it when I feel nobody is looking.
Although, someone is always looking.
Lately, I have caught myself wondering what it would
feel like to slide my tongue down the cracked cement
groove. It yawned wide one day, as I was passing.
Swallowed me whole. Inside, were golden globes,
of sand. I held them gently in my palms,
bankrupting their ability to escape the delicate threads
from which they were suspended. The crack closed
quickly, squeezing me painfully through its narrowing
measure. Pushing me to the surface. I hid the granular
pads of my fingertip’s deep inside the pockets
of my raincoat for the rest of the day. Grinding
them against each other slowly. Feeling the gritty
deposit embed itself within the lines of my fingerprints.
I wore my raincoat all day. Even though it did not rain.
Syrian Sea: An Elegy for Alan Kurdi
Fishermen cast nets, that return,
Weighted. Waterlogged limbs
Looping through netted holes
With hopeful, desperate hooks.
Human fish, drained of struggle.
Lying oddly still within the
Lattice. Countries point fat, affluent
Fingers at one another from muted
Political pulpits. We are busy.
Building walls. Switching blinking
Television sets to read no vacancy.
Then came the image. His cherub face,
Half-sunken in wet sand. Petrified
And potted, never to grow.
An image that incensed
Our sensibilities; pulled tears
From our eyes like feathers from the
Skin of a chicken. His tiny, Syrian
Frame, with sodden shoes
Still neatly tied. Refu-
Gee that is a real shame; said
As more bodies wash ashore.
Starfish, left by the tide
Perishing in cold sun. Sheepish
Eyes looking both ways. Before
Tossing the broken stars back into
Silent pools of death, cradles of
Silent ocean, to rest at the bottom
Among their own.
Amanda-Jane Terlesky is a Canadian poet. Currently residing in the United States, she is an emerging participant in the Atlanta poetry scene. Her work has been published in The Skinny Journal and she is finalizing her chapbook, Milking the Moon. She holds an MA in Creative Writing and Literature.