it is always the story, in the river, the moon
destroyed by falling leaves and then reborn.
our canoe, black, is the waters, and i see through
the spanish moss a purple martin’s script
derived and diving and ducks under a concrete
bridge where the words mi corazón se detiene
por ti, alondra are painted. what does it mean?
she asked. detiene is stops. corazón is heart,
i say. this morning we sat at the kitchen table:
she copied a recipe and i finished a crossword.
the black pens, uncapped, on top of the notepad,
left alone for the cat to knock to the floor. we
tear the seams of the water and i remember
my grandfather’s story of the snakes falling
from cypress branches into flat-bottom boats.
Eric Vithalani teaches English at Coastal Carolina Community College and holds a MFA from the University of North Carolina – Wilmington; his home base is in Wilmington, NC. His work can be seen in Lilies and Cannonballs Review, Kakalak: An Anthology of Carolina Poets, Blood Orange Review, inscape, Phantom Drift and other publications. In other news, Eric recently rode a bicycle from North Carolina to Western Kentucky.