On the plane ride home from the funeral 
by Catherine E. Mintz

at night, a blue caul for the god’s eye
winking across the Bay.
The gaping mouth slack, flat affect,
schizoid—I, too, am split.

Lipping dark edges of shoreline,
I peel back with my teeth 
accumulated layers of debris 
enshrined in the muck.

The water’s calm surface suspect,
churning beneath, salted
tides flow to shore, bleed briny love
and kiss the dead things there:

fish, suicides, my lineage
reposed in Hicktown’s Styx.
Tell me, am I to ferry those
ensconced in moonlight’s lie?

Must I ride these tides’ smooth, pale murk
while I mouth each soulless
jellied body to dampened banks,
tongue grit from eyeless stares—

unsure if the water’s glint hails the dawn 
or the sly god above.


Catherine E. Mintz is a doctoral candidate in the University of Iowa’s Educational Measurement & Statistics program. Her work has been published in Ever Eden as well as Blooming in the Noise, James Madison University’s now-defunct literary journal.