Lovers Key In Red Tide
The rising gulf is flooding the mouth
of the Caloosahatchee, rolling down
the coast from Lake Okeechobee
rust-colored and reeking of rotting fish
and seagrasses. We bank the boat
on a thinning beach in Estero Bay,
walk along the shore crowded with shells
and seaweed and dead mangrove stalks,
our eyes watering, throats dry
as a dead bird’s beak.
Even the algae can’t survive here
inside the bones of the Everglades.
We find a trailhead and follow it
toward Black Island, come upon a sign
that charts the animal species
known in the state park, but we see none
along the way: no egrets or anhinga
nosediving for sheepshead, no fox squirrels
munching on the masts of Bay Oak,
not even one zebra longwing lolling
along the deer ferns. Even the air plants
are twisting away from the trail,
as if tearing themselves from
their own roots.
Driving Home On Alligator Alley In Fire Season
It's 2 A.M and the only thing keeping me awake
is the smell of smoke and the old jazz
they play on Night Train at this hour.
They're not sure where this blaze started,
most likely some dry brush cindered
by a rogue lightning bolt, or maybe
a few kids trying to light a joint
in some backwoods, one dry leaf igniting
and fleeing like a leash-slipped dog.
I’d like to believe that perhaps some small
meteor might have made it through
the dense film of earth’s atmosphere
and settled in a bed of sap-moist pine needles.
Whatever it was, it doesn't matter now
as rows of trees burn to fine dust
near the shoulder of the highway.
I change the station and tune into a preacher
shouting God’s wrath and the end of days.
Under the dim scarlet haze of this sky
I almost believe him.
Ode To My Pair Of Chuck Taylors
O ratty old kicks. O smelly ass shoes
reeking of wool socks & Florida summer.
O white laces browned like a Thanksgiving turkey.
O crease on the capped nose where the stone
wall kicked back. O charred black canvas, color
of an old dog’s paw, hazing mud & dust.
O bottom treads, the skateboard deck bloodied
you like a school bully wanting milk money.
O worn-in holes, gifting the pinprick kiss
of grass blades. O rubber gumball outsoles
that skidded on gym floors, scratched
against griptape, stamped on lime rock,
shuffled through April-colored beach sand,
grazed against the moonlit Bermuda grass
of golf courses in the late breathless night.
About the Author: Eddie Krzeminski is an MFA candidate at Florida International University where he is the poetry editor for Gulf Stream magazine. His work has recently appeared in Origins, Yes Poetry, and Small Orange. In his spare time he reads, writes, and plays bass.