Archives for posts with tag: peots

Securing a Memory
by Joan Colby

In the passenger seat
Also known as the suicide seat,
That was me. You were driving,
One hand on the wheel, the other
Holding me. I already knew how this
Would end, that it would indeed end
And it wouldn’t matter because I’d have
This memory. The pink sweater
I am wearing, fuzzy as how I feel
In this proximity to love. My own face reflected
In the side window while the dark
Landscape pours past, how we are not
Speaking in the immense blossom
That opens between us, night petals rank
And dangerous and seductive so that
My mouth tingles
Though we are not yet kissing,
Just driving, driving and I tell myself
Remember this moment, how it feels
Years into the future. This memory
Which settles on me like a hungry animal. You
Peripheral, to my left,
Left with its sinister connotations,
A profile. It’s not important
That we engaged like teeth on meat
Or sawed our bodies until like trees
We fell and fell and fell
Into that koan of presumed
Silence. In that deliberate memory
I painted on the walls of all the years to come
I am always seventeen.

SOURCE: “Securing a Memory” originally appeared in Homestead Review.

PHOTO: The author at 17.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, Gargoyle, Pinyon, Little Patuxent Review, Spillway, Midwestern Gothic, and others. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 17 books including Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and Ribcage from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Three of her poems have been featured on Verse Daily and another is among the winners of the 2016 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. Her newest book, Carnival, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2016. She has another forthcoming from Kelsay Press in 2017 titled The Seven Heavenly Virtues. She is a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Kentucky Review. Visit her at or on Facebook or Twitter.

by Catfish McDaris

The town was sleepy, my pockets
were light, I needed work of any
kind, a Yaqui man watched me, he
knew I spoke Spanish and approved

Of my silence, he invited me to beans
and tortillas, it tasted better than steak,
we walked to the beach, fishermen
sat with heavy poles and curved knives

They fished for red snapper or yellow
tail, but kept the blades handy in case
of a tuna dragging a man into a watery
death, it had happened a few times

There were long thin ribbon fish on the
beach, men were surf casting big chunks
of meat on treble hooks, one was soon
in a battle with a sand shark, when it

Was on the beach, it took five blows to
the head to kill it, the Yaqui said it was
for soup, we got jobs cleaning fish and
icing down shrimp, the water, sun, and

Cloud of blood over the Sea of Cortes
removed the January snow from inside
my weeping heart, a woman had made
me a prisoner and I was trying to escape.

PHOTO: Yaqui fishermen prepare for a long day of work at the height of shrimp season in Guaymas. Image by Dominic Bracco II. Mexico, 2012.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Catfish McDaris won the Thelonius Monk Award in 2015. He’s been active in the small press world for 25 years. He’s working in a wig shop in a high crime area of Milwaukee. His newest book is Sleeping with the Fish (266 pages fo $13).