by Derek Gromadzki

There are rhythms and there are rhythms. Some are cock’s crow tomorrows like tomorrow sure to come. Some are charades and they disappear wherever ever after is. And inside the insides of forget-me-nots the names of sounds surrender themselves to sounds. Clair de lune syllables of caravels lap a chlorodyne shore. Half a bottle half liqueur like baize and portmanteau chant partial to none. An ocean in an ampoule once upon a time became the time but once upon will never do. Or if there is a once upon it’s nothing that it used to be. How a model ship is a whirligig that wasn’t. A ship underway nowhere, an image bending in a demijohn toward a bottleneck tied off, liable to choke on the twine. Carry me murmurs from across the sea.

DEREK GROMADZKI is the author of Pilgrimage Suites (Parlor Press 2017) and the chapbook, Horology (Paradigm Press 2016). His work has appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Black Warrior Review, Chattahoochee Review, Conjunctions, Fugue, The PEN Poetry Series, Witness, and other magazines. His latest translations, collaborations with Sayuri Okamoto, can be found in Alice, Iris, Red Horse: Selected Poems of Yoshimasu Gozo (New Directions 2016). He has taught at Washington University in St. Louis and Oberlin College & Conservatory. He is a 2018 NEA-JUSFC Fellow.