Through the Archway

posted Apr 10, 2012

I walk to the beach where a band plays to no one
out on the floating docks and the tide brings in
giant corks on an oil slick, bobbing and
turning, greasing themselves in the black muck.
An otter takes refuge farther down, basking
and sliding among the swimmers. I find
a fish on a pile of seaweed, still faintly
gasping—should I toss him back or
bring him to the otter, a gift? I look
in his flat eye, carry him on down the
shore where the otter’s glossy brown body
hums with current, where he flings himself
recklessly onward as if such abandon
was the only possible response to life.

Phoebe Reeves’s poems appear in a chapbook, The Lobes and Petals of the Inanimate, published by Pecan Grove Press, and in journals including Rosebud, DIAGRAM, The American Poetry Journal, The Los Angeles Review, and Quarterly West. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, fiction writer Don Peteroy, and teaches at Clermont College.

Reeves’s poem “Chernobyl Apples” also appears in this issue.