by Derek R. Smith

Nothing hits harder
Than cold waves on rocky beaches
Except maybe a poet who’s
Inspired by this whole well-trod
Metaphorical scene where
Ocean kisses land.
Then when the poet spots
A single clear blueish chunk of
Beach glass underfoot
Amongst the gray rocks
It all appears, the movie montage,
How an old Coke bottle
Fell off a Cuban pleasure cruise
1954 or so it was
Held caffeine buzz,
Green glass mirage,
And stumbled round the ocean bottom
Followed waves and camouflaged
In schools of fish
For decades til the unlikely
Of unlikelies
Landed here
On this winter beach,
Below my sandals
So I might muse upon
How sand-to-glass-to-sand,
How something manufactured,
A Coke bottle
Labeled and glossed,
Was lost, sunken, and tossed,
Adventuring and submarining,
Then broken somewhere along the way,
Grinded and turned
Times infinity,
And finally served up to me,
Shipwrecked on the feet of
Colossus of Rhodes,
Delivered right up to someone
Who was missing
Just this size and shape of
Weathered blue-clear-green-smooth glass.
And I will hold it close
This talisman
This ghost
Of how we can escape
The plan
Become something
Not through design
But somehow
Revolutioned into greatness.
The both of us much better
For the wear
A painting of a sunset over crashing waves. A lighthouse stands on the left hand side, and an oil rig burns in the background.

Post-Covidia 16

by Michael Thompson

Derek R. Smith (he/him) is a public health professional, Anishinaabe two-spirit, uncle, sibling, friend, who finds it hard to not write poetry. His work is slated to publish in Great Lakes Review and Pa’lante in 2023. There is no space for distance here, in poetry, and isn’t that a beautiful thing?

Michael Thompson is a Chicago-based artist who works in a variety of mediums including collage, fake postage stamps, assemblage, sculpture, kite-making and memory jugs. His work can be viewed at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s