Rowboats and Alligators

Mitchell Bretz


backed into a corner 

in wide open water 

as I so often manage

with nothing but stick in hand,

and I’ve been at it so long 

that I took wood to wood

and fashioned myself a spear 

so long and so sharp 

that none of those things 

could touch me if they wanted.

even on days like this 

when they’re all starving,

I beckon them forward.

God himself knows well 

that he’ll need greater terrors 

to kill such profane spite 

as that which compels me 

to face the day with vigor

and stay on this damn boat.




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