Gordon Smedt © 2019

Gordon Smedt © 2019


by David Rock


for Dave

Wise if not serene, with my signature scowl,
my owl set in shadows. This is what it means
to watch the magic eight ball like a slice of pie.

What Santa brought was hard and smooth,
that year.

From gurney to berm and home again, high
if not dry in a vortex of cancelled subscriptions,
the math be damned,
over the sea like blood—
warm and red until well after a wave of dismay
has spent its strength on slowly eroding bone.

And I thought I looked pretty good in my jaunty
new flat-cap, reflected just so in the store-front
windows of estate planners.

So I’ve wept a tear or two, sat up late dreaming
coelacanth dreams, chain smoking pens while
science does its level best to explain the tilt—

how there are still condors, and what’s left of
the moon, pulling through.


David Rock has work appearing in the Carolina Quarterly, the Laurel Review, Image, Poetry East, New American Writing, and other journals. An Idaho native, he teaches Spanish and international studies at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg.