Fabrice Poussin - Rooftops

Fabrice Poussin – Rooftops

A Poem by James Valvis

Sometimes you feel like that first
Chinese brother
who swallowed the sea
and made his head as big as the moon.
Sometimes you feel you swallowed a sea
of poems and today is the day
you will spit them out,
but instead you stand there,
waving your arms,
a dried out starfish at your feet.
Maybe today is the day you open
your mouth. What’s stopping you?
Is it a fear you’ll drown someone?
Not hardly. More likely
you fear you will spit the sea
and find nothing was in your mouth all along,
just your big head, all air and no art.
Not even one great poem. Not even one.
When others have oceans of fish
and shipwrecks, you have a head
like an empty shell;
and today, like every day,
is just another in a vast desert
you’ve fooled yourself is a beach.

James Valvis has placed poems or stories in Ploughshares, River Styx, Arts & Letters, Southern Indiana Review, Hot Metal Bridge, The Sun, and many others. His poetry was featured in Verse Daily. His fiction was chosen for Sundress Best of the Net. His work has also been a finalist for the Asimov’s Readers’ Award. A former US Army soldier, he lives near Seattle.