The River Poem

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.


  1. Beautiful, Eric !!

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