by Beth Oast Williams

Watch the Sky

Low tide
and the dragons fly

black sky to the west watches
six women with oars

pull against flat water
their old wooden skull
gliding backwards

squinting from streaks of sunset
they don’t see the clouds forming

steady knocking beat of the hull hides
each tumble of thunder
while lightening makes daylight behind them

wet wind picks up
glass river breaks into shards

rowers bow their heads against the cutting rain
not kneeling or praying
just waiting for the storm to pass.


Simple Sugar

Marriage is a back molar,
the girl in her short
dress a drill
that chips away at enamel,
the tooth, mostly filling
in need of a crown.

I avoid the dentist,
the threat of pain,
grab one end of the floss
and pull, trying to loosen
any bits of regret
you might have,
thoughts that it’s time
to move on.

A pot of sugar water
gets hot on the stove
and nearly boils over,
until one or both of us
turns the knob to
simmer, and swallows,
the swish
of sweetness
ignorant of rot.


Image by Sayan Nath on Unsplash