Issue Twenty-Nine - Winter 2017

Standing Outside the Captain Whidbey Inn

By Sarah Jones

A Madrona tree, with its peeling bark
and banana-shaped leaves, leans out
over Penn Cove against a pillow of gray sky.

Around the tree’s trunk, a gnat
pumps her white wings again and again
while cove water tongues the purple pits
of mussel shells. Why does a body

barnacle itself to things? A rolled
joint on a coffee table. Bag of meth
inside a purse pocket.
A mother’s body to a father’s fist. I had a
parakeet once survive a night in the mountains
only to return to her cage in morning.

Sometimes thrumming water is a knocking
that engulfs my eardrums. Sometimes I want
even soundless wings to stop their beating.

Copyright Jones 2016