‘ Two Poems’ by Tom Snarsky


In the quiet water of subtidal habitats,

you have enough breathing room to misread
subtidal as suicidal, your brain predicting
what it sees now will be like
what you’ve been googling, low in your cove
of grayblue feeling. All the arts,
all of them, have led us to this ice. You
mix paints for the sea slush
and you’re out of green—you squeeze
the tube and it gives you nothing, the sides
touching through a thin layer
of dried paint, and instead of giving up
you leverage colorblindness as an asset
and mix in red instead, so the little
cove you’re painting starts to look like clay
so rich and malleable you could almost eat it.

Escape Rope

The truck’s mud flaps say STARGATE
& I’ve never felt closer to the earth, to the

Basic conceit of burial—i.e. if you go down
Far enough, if you live enough to have

Friends to bury you, then maybe when you get
Down there, after a little time has passed

The gates will open & there will be
Sandboxes full of stars for you to play with

You can make castles you can tear them down
You can shepherd the toy truck across

The bridge over the moat to safety
Its mud flaps still emblazoned

but faultlessly clean

Tom Snarsky teaches mathematics at Malden High School in Malden, Massachusetts, USA.

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