Jessica Guzman Alderman

 

1.

The limestone crevasse like stale bread
& phosphogypsum butter,
                                   one drawn gulp

under a power plant—
how the mangroves faint into her

jaws, butterfly kiss
          the aquifer. From planes
tourists huzzah Our own moon crater, grip
their polyurethane backrests
 to follow
the fishing boats’ diminishing arabesques,
& the stadium seats sneaking in
behind them—fiberglass frames
 return the sun’s glare.

2.

The tide advances, signposts & bicycle spokes
incarnadined. Coral usurps
              the chained pens
of bank teller stalls where barnacles
crumb the vaults,
     like meadows pursue bloom

in schoolyards. Wrapped in seaweed, swings
& monkey bars become truss
for lost architecture—

                                scientists take note
as their robots compass the decomposed

grocery cart screening a Tonka truck,
a small moray peeking from the cab.

3.

 A symbol for a symbol:

The concrete trees
           with their carved animals
& polyethylene leaves. Perennial summer

vacation—the ad hoc forests & plains;
the Everglades the swamps where the croc
receives Captain Hook

                                 seven noons a week;
autocade of volcanoes; canoe rides
on chlorinated seas—where children swallow
slurpees straw-less
                       for animal safety.

4.

A quake’s bellyache,
                                        then the peninsula
archipelagoes
                             into blue sea. Attendant cloud

wrings her halo, the islands welled:
veladoras & macaroni packs unveiled
behind a toppled wall.
                                          The crescive wave,
afterthought. Where terrariums boast

beer tin homes,
                                         continental fragments
keep their sobriquet, & the old expanse
splinters to cephalophore quarters,

her human cohort unknowable in the brume.

 

Jessica Guzman Alderman is a Cuban-American writer from southwest Florida. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Pleiades, Passages North, Copper Nickel, Sonora Review, and elsewhere. A doctoral student at the University of Southern Mississippi, she reads for Memorious.

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