Copyright © 2001 Richard Baumgart


This road we pedal, camouflaged with smoothness,
slow with ascent, is ourselves.

There are clues,
the too many bike lengths between us,

blue sky sparring our own weather,
the nervous damp scurry of pipers.

I had hoped for salvation,
like these moored boats praying

to a same direction, confirming
each other's conclusion.

See how this kayaker's blade
rights through one wet arc

positioning a readiness for the left.
I had felt that love should be that way,

accomplishing one task
enabling a completion of the other.

We choose a rocky shore to sit on.
The kickstands fork into sand and fail.

A gull is struggling with a shellfish nearby.
It grabs the clam in its beak and

lofts skyward in flighted wafts of breeze.
At what is, to it, the most correct height

it drops its clutch onto the irreverent stones below
and in that predation

my own shell shatters wide open
and the grieving famished feed.

Michael Zack
Copyright © 2001

Michael Zack's poems have been published in Birmingham Poetry Review, Defined Providence, Mid-America Poetry Review, Negative Capability, Nimrod, Pif Magazine, Sierra Nevada College Review, and numerous others. His second book, Morning Glory, won the Anamnesis Press Poetry Chapbook competition and was published by Anamnesis Press.

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