Stately black as a poet’s mustache, you
perch like an intersection beggar at the corner
of this fishing pier, saying nothing, awaiting
scales or entrails to fall your way. Spirit
animal of every melancholy writer,
your accusing eye turns water to guilt,
shames me toward the desk. This wood-planked place
is more yours than mine: feast or famine, boom or bust
existence of remnants, kindness, luck. My lines
should be on paper, but the bobber
just went under, and your sparse shadow
could use some guts – food of dark inspiration.
John Davis Jr. is the author of The Places That Hold (Eastover Press, 2021) and four other poetry collections. His work has appeared in Nashville Review, Tampa Review, The American Journal of Poetry, The Common, Salvation South, and in many other venues internationally. He has been a resident of the Rockvale Writers Colony. He holds an MFA and teaches English and Creative Writing in Florida’s Tampa Bay area.