Fly Over Water, Crumbs in a Cup

At the trial for drunken boaters,
news about how dazzled the hour was,

how like sacks stuffed with shadows
the underwater creatures they hurt without knowing.

If we together equal less than those breathers,
less than burning waters plus hyacinth, than bare cypress knees,

less too than the boats with their careless blades,
tell me (and forgive my old wakefulness)

how much less is the one who, moon-dragged and angry,
only watches love sleep—

less than a fly’s eye fracturing green?
less than crumbs in a cup, desire’s remainder?



In Florida, where residents hold such contradictory attitudes toward the beaches, insidious class attitudes linger. But maybe we’re all part of an ongoing trial as both jurors and perps.




Terri Witek is the author of 4 books of poetry (most recently, EXIT ISLAND) and a book about Robert Lowell’s revisions. She teaches at Stetson University in Deland, FL, where she holds the Sullivan Chair in Creative Writing. Her collaborations with Brazilian visual artist Cyriaco Lopes have been featured or are upcoming in galleries and site-specific locations in the US, Portugal, and the UK. Summer faculty positions have included the Prague Summer Literary Conference and the DisQuiet Conference in Lisbon, where she runs The Fernando Pessoa Game.

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