By Stephen Roger Powers
If you stand on the beach in Montauk
and launch miniature ships from your eyes—
indulge in breaking miniature champagne bottles
across their bows first—the line of ships will,
if they don’t change course, brush Rio Grande do Norte
and Paraíba, approach Australia from the south, and make land
near Perth. The things you learn from YouTube.
Today I am at the Cliffs of Moher throwing a message
in a bottle over the edge, none of anyone’s business
what it says, charting it toward a discoverer
who will uncork and unroll it waves and winds
and continents away from the straight-line recipient.
Sea-mist mornings like this, it is easier to imagine
the nosey finder puzzled and riddled
and pulled by the tease of its suggested narrative
than it is to map the direction
over the horizon and a thousand
unseen horizons after the first
where my country is from here.
About the Author: Stephen Roger Powers started writing poetry almost twenty years ago to pass time in the middle of the night when he was too energized to sleep after coming off the stage in comedy clubs around the Midwest. He is the author of The Follower’s Tale and Hello, Stephen, both published by Salmon Poetry. Other work has appeared in 32 Poems, Shenandoah, The Southern Poetry Anthology Volume V: Georgia, Rabbit Ears: TV Poems, and Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems. He hasn’t done stand-up in a long time, but every once in a while he finds avenues for the performer he was born to be. He was an extra in Joyful Noise with Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, and he can be seen if you know just where to look.