Two Poems

Tropical Storm Winds (or How to Alchemize Branches into a Family Dinner)

Goats line their own southern fence,

eat the heads of sunflowers that bend past the rusty barbed-wire.

Water spots form overnight. I am a child, I say Our

house has moon craters!

while sister looks up handymen.

Five trees fall into a pentagram around my treehouse.

Dad yells STAY INSIDE, so I never set my toys on fire,

and mommy sleeps in a separate room like normal.

When the Kitchen Paint Melts into 1980s Flight Paths

I consult a phonebook psychic.


After the crystal ball flakes into ash

like cheap hotel soap, after

she instructs me that the house

wants to make love to you, and after

I empty all the drawers of mother’s

old pantsuits,


I get naked in the living room.


My toes curl inside the VHS player, a breast

bounces against the height markers that Daddy

scrawled onto the doorframe each year,

thighs squeeze the yellow desk lamp mother bought

me in Cincinnati, lips suck the laminate tread

under Daddy’s rocking chair, and my hand claws

the one placemat not worn in by nightly dinners.

Jerrod Schwarz is an MFA student at the University of Tampa and is also the managing poetry editor for Driftwood Press. He has been published in Dirty Chai, Scapegoat, Four Ties Literary Review, and others. The above things are a little mundane. In his day to day life, Jerrod does whatever he can to escape the heat of his Floridian climate, and has been known to take part in staring contests with alligators who would challenge an otherwise refreshing swim.