Fall/Winter 2015-2016

John Repp


filled the behemoth cooler on the fresh
concrete slab next to the burn barrel—coin slot,
crank, stenciled sign extolling price & quality,
chrome receptacle that cradled each boughten
waxed cylinder inside which two dozen
night crawlers shone in peaty dark.

Imagine the proprietor pulling up in the rare,
crisp dusk of a summer day spent rolling
past the first split-levels on their beveled plots
then veering southeast to the lighthouse,
the concrete elephant & the Palace Depression
miraculously not crumbing into its constituent

glass shards, marbles & Progresso soup cans
then north for ice cream, the family plump
& quiet in the lull of rumbly wheels paid for
in part by the slick worms gone forth now
to die on hooks piercing the lower lips of crappies
& bass & wizened pike with those razor teeth.

Imagine filling your pockets with coins,
your neon name buzzing overhead, the goods
beyond the plate glass mere shadows, a semi
banging past behind you, kids clapping
as they run inside the bungalow whose every
corner-cut flaw you could fix if you just

had the time, wife already running the first
bath as you let the screen door slap shut,

worrying for now about not one thing.

John Repp’s most recent collection of poetry is Fat Jersey Blues, winner of the 2013 Akron Poetry Prize from the University of Akron Press.



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