Rescue Effort

From below, the ambulance lights
become giant jellyfish cutting through
the surface—a phosphorescence
reflected off the rear-view mirror.
I imagine the sounds: squall of radio,
shouts deadened by the night wind,
splashes. If I could, I would raise myself
from the water, eyes silver-dollared,
squeeze the river from my hair,
apologize. I’m sorry, you won’t find me
waiting patiently in the driver’s side,
a hand threaded through the steering wheel,
feet floating to the back seat.
Already the current carries me
past the bridge, the line of waiting cars,
past the barge lit up like a barroom
Christmas tree, men fishing late
into the night. Everyone avoids something,
some pale body or trunk of tree,
some finger poking the back of your head.
Bridges rise or swing aside. Tires swerve
to avoid a waddler swinging its pink tail
in the headlights. A law: magnetic
repulsion, or the force of the full moon
erasing the sun. A body is, in the end,
prone to physics—the tide, its motion
perpetual, bearing me away.

Katie Cappello lives in a small farming town in Northern California. Her poems are forthcoming from Crab Orchard Review, Los Angeles Review, Memoir(and), and Slipstream. She is the author of Perpetual Care and the chapbook A Classic Game of Murder, soon to be published by Dancing Girl Press. She blogs at www.drowningthefield.blogspot.com.

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761