By Michael Collins

This water did not call                        itself harbor,
yet here ships             slumber, people imagine
books             into breezes, children
splash breath             back into the shallows,
one mad cackle             beckoning another.
And I worship what I can’t control:
Can’t shape the way             the hurricane turned
sky into a twin ocean, tore from the earth
like saplings                                trees a hundred
years of rain had raised; seemingly          composed now,
these waters took          to land before the winds came,
flooding roads; some kids          drove their truck
into the new          pools, screaming deliriously,
over and over, up          and down the disappearing block,
each new spray                            of danger a fresh forever.


myafterthought-3About the Author: A Flint-area native, Michael Collins’ poems have received Pushcart Prize nominations and appeared in more than 50 journals and magazines, including Grist, Kenning Journal, Pank, and Smartish Pace. His first chapbook, How to Sing when People Cut off your Head and Leave it Floating in the Water, won the Exact Change Press Chapbook Contest in 2014. He lives in New York with his wife and son, and teaches creative and expository writing at New York University.

“Rendering” originally printed in Waccamaw: A Journal of Contemporary Literature.


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