Cathexis Northwest Press
Approaching the Grand Canyon; The Horizon of the Interior; One More Poem About the Rising Tide
By: Will Austin Simescu
Approaching the Grand Canyon
Today, Notre-Dame burned
but I mostly just gazed heavenward.
Golden sun splits the clouds
over a plateau of pinyon-juniper.
The largest rainbow I’ve ever seen
radiates gargantuan to the east.
Arriving at camp,
mist nips at my ankles
like Jennifer’s cat, Britney.
I clench my teeth. It’s too early
to miss anyone.
Maybe we’ll meet again
on the Astral Plane
or Bedrock City.
For now, the earth is warm, the air
cool and bright.
The sky a tapestry on fire.
The Horizon of the Interior
White the breakers arriving on shore
Blue the open sea
Taller than Mt Baldy
Wide as the trunk of a plane tree
Blessed the nights you return to me
A brutish whisper in my ear
Blue flames lick the burner
Bleached white paint peels under midnight sun
There is something I’ve been meaning to tell you
About the harrow’s bite
But words turn inward now
Toward an ever-expanding gulf
All I can think of are bluebells
One More Poem About the Rising Tide
The humble Patuxent has overflown its banks.
Police tape blocks the entrance to the park
across the street from my apartment.
Wooden kiosks indicating the park’s
unique vegetation, its pertinent fowl,
are submerged under sage green water.
Another ten feet and the water will reach my building.
I wonder if my Subaru will be swept downstream
like my entrants for the rubber duck race
held each year on the Boardman River
when I was a boy in Michigan.
In those days I was taught the rainbow
was a symbol of a promise never again
to flood the earth with murderous waters.
Now it occurs to me that God set a bow in the clouds
more as a reminder to temper his worser impulses
than as a comfort to the people below.
I soften my beard with a washcloth
before work this morning, run the tap
until the water is almost unbearably hot,
press the cloth to my face
until my cheeks are rosy.
After water comes the blade,
then a paring away.
Will Austin Simescu grew up in Northern Michigan and spent six years as a language analyst in the U.S. Air Force. He currently lives in Colorado, where he studies Restoration Ecology at Colorado State University. Will was a finalist for the Ember Chasm Review 2020 Summer Poetry Contest and a semi-finalist for Nimrod International's 2020 Francine Ringold Awards for New Writers. His poems have also appeared in the Louisville Review, Poetry South, and Slippery Elm, among others.