Under the Fallen Dock
Joshua Martin

Under the Fallen Dock

Some nights my brother and I swim
beneath the wreckage of the dock,
our feet kicking up mud and rusted nails,
the spiders slinking down on us from the splinters.
We bob between the well-worn beams,
dive to the frontier of fallen cleats
where the voices in our house
can’t reach us, where our grandmother’s
cancer-slimmed body doesn’t manifest
in clouds of stirred-up silt.
We are young and new to grief.
Loss is just beginning to wrap
its cool fingers around our waists.
In a couple of empty summers
the remains of the dock will be gutted
and taken to the county dump, but tonight
our hands slap wood slimed with algae
and we believe we’ll sit on the edge
of this sagging kingdom again
as daylight draws in, our lines
cast into deeper water, our limbs
feeling nothing but the pull of furtive fish.

Joshua Martin

is a Ph.D. student in poetry at Georgia State University and the author of the chapbook Passing Through Meat Camp (Flutter Press). He was a finalist in the 2015 Jacar Press Chapbook Competition, and his recent poems appear, or will soon appear, in Soundings Review, San Pedro River Review, Concho River Review, Kentucky Review, I-70 Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Kakalak 2015, and other magazines.