Two Poems by Carol Potter

Found in Willow Springs 93

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Glass Eggs, or They Like to Eat Same as You

Some farmers put glass eggs in their nesting boxes.
Snakes slide in, swallow those eggs. Die
when the glass inside them breaks.
You can understand it from the hen’s point of view,
from the farmer’s point of view. I was the farmer, the daughter of,
and my job was collecting the eggs, washing them, sorting them.
I never found a snake in a nesting box. Sometimes long black
polished ropes of them lay out in front of the hen-house.
Sunning themselves. Other places they put ping pong balls
in the hens’ nests. Same principle. Swallow, then choke.
I’d never hear of that before today, but it’s something
Michael Ondaatje witnessed as a child. That
and the family shooting the snakes when they came into the house.
Cobra on a desk. In a chair. In the corner of the kitchen.
Someone might be loading a gun. Sometimes the action freezes.
Sometimes I wish for a glass egg I could make what’s eating me eat.
How useful when the thing you can’t stand takes the form of a fat snake.
When it’s there on the desk whisking its head back and forth when it sees you.
Glad you’ve arrived. Glad you’re pulling back your chair.

Good God Damn

The man under the broken pick-up, snow-plow attached,
was not visible but we could hear him fuck, fuck, oh
shit! trying to fix whatever it was by the side of the road—
thirty-eight degrees, light rain falling, snow on its way his
friend handing the wrong tool though no one of the two
had what they needed. He was down on his back in the wet
fuck of fall at the side of the road and the fuck of it all
traveling down the street to the pup at nine months who
just wanted to sit there and listen as he could not see
the man but he could feel what fuck this shit meant and
oh good god damned motherfucker and seemed to get
what that tremor in the voice meant as well as the clunk of
metal on metal one more thing to learn about us humans I
suppose pup looking at me knowing something about my
current undercurrents but not so much that he thought it
necessary to get the fuck up, c’mon, not your business, me
tugging at the least the man under the truck out of luck
deep inside the machine of it all the rust my little dog just
now suspecting maybe there was something not quite right
in the world he’d found himself leashed to my hands like small
supplicants smile on my lip little clip at the end of the least
treats in my pockets bits of old hot dog random kibble.

Three Poems by Liana Roux

Found in Willow Springs 93

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81/2 Marina

for Risden

As we sit on the dock
and press frozen shrimp
into fish hooks
and cast the lines
into the dark, a single lamp
bobs out over the bay,
turned down into the shallows
which seem murky even from here,
a shifting cloud
of seagrass and sand.
He’s looking for flounder,
you explain. Gigging:
a long spear,
a flat boat, a bucket.
A flounder
looks like a dinner plate,
wide and dim.
It buries itself in the sand.
The motor hums the boat closer,
following the shore.
Something keeps eating the shrimp
clean off our hooks,
but we keep trying.
We’re drinking wine
the same color as the water,
which drinks light.
Homer’s wine-dark sea.
The bay is dredged
every few years,
this island unsustainable
and not unlike your love
of useless things,
of Huysmans’ bejeweled tortoise,
of this place, a jut of concrete
built out of the water.
Our hooks return empty
again and again.


I’m grinding my teeth straight through the enamel.
The dental hygienist asks if I’m experiencing any stress.

Has my wife noticed anything?
Does she hear tumbling rocks?

Gnashing, from Middle English from Old Norse,
may be onomatopoeic, grown—ground?—from sound.

On the tip of my left canine tooth is a divot,
a deepening pit that catches my tongue.

The dentist on YouTube says I don’t need a mouth guard.
I just need to practice relaxing my jaw.

A ball of yarn unwinds. A spring snaps it coil.
Don’t smile. Instead imagine it.

I can’t blame my sleeping body.
We all want to hurt ourselves a little bit.

Spring, Loring Pond

The first week the ice melts,
plastic bags and newspapers
float up like ghosts,
drifting and gray
near the softening bank.


I keep seeing a body
wrapped in a sheet.
On TV it’s always a woman with a dog
who finds it—the waterlogged arm
emerging from the reeds, the barking terrier,
the mud and the blue morning light.


In the ’70s men would cruise here.
One was beaten to death with a pipe.
So many places where it could have happened—
the dandelion fountain, the bridge,
the tree growing sideways,
skimming the pond.


Who remembers? Each year
men in yellow vest wade to their stomachs
and cut the cattails back.
The dry wind hushes
the water, cold and deep
and full of figures rising almost to the shore.