Illustration: closeup of alligator skin

Swamp Box

Pulled up out of
a reservoir
of ocean junk,

and snakes
of lianas,
of wrecks and dredgers:

the keeled over
and long lost
up turns

of alligator time.
When rescued,
and brought home,

laid in the sun
and dried off:
it leaches out

its stew
of swamp spawn,
revealing a map

of rusted-
over tools:
slugged wrenches,

and algal nails,
a screwdriver,

till every edge
is lost.
The swamp box

labelled Fisheries,
furnished with lures
is itself a lure

for behemoths,
returned like Jonah
salt-caked and swallowed,

ready to pour
its tale
of how

the ocean goes.

David Mohan is a poet and short story writer based in Dublin. His poetry has been published in The Cincinnati Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Lake Effect, Stirring, Measure, Superstition Review, New World Writing, PANK and Dialogist. His poetry has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize.

Alligator illustration by C.B. Auder (digital collage).

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