JEFFREY S. CORREA is an undergraduate and lives in New Jersey. He is forever indebted to Zbigniew Herbert.

*   *   *

       A Sunny Place

       I imagined a moon on my last night
       before my scheduled flight. Stifled a
       yawn on my last night as she clasped
       my hand and led me down flights of stairs.
       A corroded corridor. A light fixture
       flickered. As she led the way, still
       holding my hand, I saw five feet, faces
       hidden by smoke. A child chuckled
       behind a closed door, penetrating a
       fake silence. The faint smell of incense.
       Her body’s phosphorescence. She
       opened her door and vestiges suddenly
       smacked me.


       I took a handful of rain-rotted sand
       and smeared it on my cheeks. Thickets
       of mist drifted over the waters. I could
       barely see the fisherman’s boat; maybe
       I didn’t see it, but rather assumed its
       presence. I don’t remember. Other
       duties required my attention. The lack
       of the sun’s licks made it hard on such
       days. Her sugar sweet call snapped me
       from my reverie. Breakfast in her
       company before tackling thankless work
       had become a necessary prerequisite.
       Even so, it was hard to silence the field’s
       dissonance, always reverberating—the
       ripples on the coffee’s surface. On that
       day a sequence started, a new overseer,
       and the first time we heard of the earth
       consuming one of us.