A washed ring of sounds,
rocks glazed with boat music.
I watch clouds soot the forests in delicate black salt.

A dead fish—bass or bluegill—
is half-gone back to the rocks and beyond,
lies no-eyed on the shoreline.

Its extant others—us in canoes and kayaks—
merge to the white strait horizon
and wish to reach up—

flexed fingers grab canopy,
chill-cliffs, a dark-formed maze.

I am seven times the size and climbing—
slamming my cheeks into birches,
moving north through the dark day.

About the Author: Sandra Marchetti currently teaches writing at Elmhurst College, outside of her native Chicago. She holds an MFA in Poetry from George Mason University. Sandra was recently named the winner of the Midwest Writing Center’s 2011 Mississippi Valley Chapbook Contest for her volume, The Canopy. She was also a finalist in Gulf Coast’s 2011 Poetry Prize and Phoebe’s 2009 Greg Grummer Poetry Contest. Sandy has published poems in Phoebe, Spiral Orb, and Spurt Literary Journal. She writes reviews for PIF Magazine and has poems forthcoming from dirtcakes, The River Oak Review, and Ohio State’s The Journal. Sandy is an assistant poetry editor at Fifth Wednesday Journal and you can find her at