top of page
Alligator Blue Devils
Best of the Net Nominee 2023

She has just one poem to froth, no matter

the appeal she makes to shoehorn verbs.

She is a goddess fallen from the sky, like a tooth,

rotten and brownish as dark, brackish tea.

Her Egyptian forebears, now in Paris museums,

are the lost colony of royal kin, trapped

in stone or pinned down in vitrines.


She swims the lake they call the loch

to test the depth and count the balls

of eels together nested like devout fingers.

There are water moccasins and tarpon, too,

all proof of life for profiteers.


As the waters rise in bubbling, rushing storms,

her skin saves her from loss, even her own

crusty pieces and bony scutes, but she fades

in the fierceness of doubt, of the trees becoming

green again, of the bees flying, of her pod

of hatchlings busted by egg tooth

or by bird, bobcat, or bass.

How to fear what she will never feel?


She alone floats, eyes resting above the rim, drifting

on currents of algae and pondweed — a primal poise.

A splash of movement provokes her envy,

and the snapping turtles move up a log to sun,

as she sinks below to wrestle the verse,

to pull from the bottom some other tercet,

or mutated conceit to repurpose grief,

and finally surface something unworn,

anything to thunderstrike the feeling

of lurking in the murk again

only to rise with more threadbare dread,

or the next derivation of lost panic.

How to give back the time she never used?


She mopes in the gloomy rue of an aubade

crafting defiant submission to always and anywhere,

ready for the moment of patience to pass,

and for the crouching muse to pounce.

Mikal Wix lives in the American South. Their work can be read in Corvus Review, Peregrine Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, Tahoma Literary Review, Roi Fainéant Press, decomp journal, Olit, Queerlings, Door = Jar, and elsewhere. They are a social sciences editor by day and serve as an associate poetry editor for West Trade Review.

bottom of page