Three Verses...
Joseph Kouvelas


Guidelines, track lines, desire lines
and jet streams; impossible visions
like lucid dreamscapes and
hallucinogenic whispers that go
quiet when the lights come on.


Return to the image of
a placid sea sailed by
ships with limp cloths
and idle rigging.
As I made my way to
school this morning, my
heart stopped long enough to watch
my face freeze and my eyelids wince
at the pain of seeing St. Elmos fire
and brimstone spilling out in print ads
for loving daughters.


I watched the lightly dusted
earth for footprints leading up to the
river covered with ice, alive
only to the touch of the
current flowing underneath. I searched
for sleeping fish, but my map was littered
with silent bs and xs that when
pronounced, sounded like zs.
I was left jaded and on my knees
cursing the broken branches
of the trees that they bare no leaves to protect
my head from the falling snow.