portion of the artwork for Stephen Massimilla's poetry

Southern Undertow
Stephen Massimilla

And shuddering, anticipating
the drowning that, if she left
this world forever … Jesus would get—I mean, save her,
he thought, but said: Let’s have a sandwich.

She watched eye-bulbs turn down,
barely lidded. Under the shaving scar
that clung to his chin
like a bit of dirty string,

his jaw-shadow dropped. He said: Fish.
It hit her again: no hole, no way downriver
through flood, through flame, excreta,
all the way there, to the Louisiana

of his heart. The peak of the swell
would break over in white threads
like water moccasin fangs,
no room.

Nothing lay ahead, was all
Never being able to say he was part of it—
the rush of such a gigantic wave.

Return to Archive

FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 31 | Winter 2011