Sunset Swamp

by John Ebersole

Shivers of wind fleck across the swamp
Thinly veiled in pollen. Breezes nudge
A shoelace between the jointed knees
Of cypress trees, its ends unsheathed
Of their metal aglets that drift inside
The aphotic muck and sludge of things
Whose origins are cleaved clean from the hands
That brought them away: they float and bob
In the inkish waters—doll and boot
And rags and all manner of rotted ephemera
That here lose the voltage of meaning—
Plastic piggy bank, empty ballcaps, gascan,
Strange magazines half-eaten by a sun
That spits its burnt light in the trees, worn
Out words and septic imagery idly read
By the faint shadows of Spanish moss.

JOHN EBERSOLE was born and raised in Florida. After completing his MFA in poetry at Columbia University, he moved to the Philadelphia area with his wife and daughter. He is host of New Books in Poetry, a podcast where poets and critics discuss their latest work, and poetry editor of The Philadelphia Review of Books. His most recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Southern Humanities Review, Bateau, Coldfront, HTMLGIANT, Octopus, and Western Humanities Review. Currently, he is assistant professor of English at Chestnut Hill College, where he also directs the writing center.