Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Forty-one
Summer 2016
Graham Coppin

In Eden my father walks me down wet stones to a violet sea
past the girl with roses in her hair and a bag of navelinas.

The teacher says we might think paradise is somewhere else.
But it’s my father giving me my wings and leading me to water.

Then the velvet current, rippling like a tiger’s thighs, pulls
us out beyond the known while I bob oblivious, floating

on the reassurance of a happy ocean’s amplitudes and wave
back toward the bloom and citrus of our left world.

The sea’s now deep and cold. My father panics, swims me
toward a promontory where men hoist me slippery as a newborn

and carry me to shore while he is left to grab his way up rocks.
The teacher laughs. The teacher says paradise is already here.

She says fruits are forgiveness. Flowers are love. My old man,
then young, walked me home. Leaves fell, undoing themselves.

About Graham Coppin

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