Issue > Poetry
James Wyshynski

James Wyshynski

James Wyshynski received his MFA from the University of Alabama. He is a former editor of Black Warrior Review. His poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Terminus, River Styx, Interim, The Chattahoochee Review, Northeast Corridor and are forthcoming in Packington Review and Passager. His manuscript Romancing Akhmatova is in search of a publisher. He currently lives and works in Marietta, Georgia.

Commuter Rail Repeat

                              for Greg Sokol (1957-1976)

And cousin,
at my stop
I hear the squeal
and you are
in that rail bed—
eyes open,
legs severed,
as I rewind
the man
on TV
as he says
the same thing—
my story
doesn't change:
I wasn't there,
I was away;
and Greg,
you are so
near and small
on the screen
I can
blot out
the scene
with one
thumb.

Reading The Mystery of The Fire Dragon to My Daughter


She's in her bed and I'm on the carpet, head
propped against a bookshelf, book open
to the chapter where Grandpa Soong gives in,
believes his niece is gone for good. The words
knot in my esophagus. What hubris to give up
a white Lexapro and now teeter, adrift
on a small carpet sea, too scared to move my head.
And what offering and to whom do I make
when the words do break and sound
and spill from my mouth? Rebecca, the ocean
is black and silent and you are the girl on the raft
of her bed waiting for the syllables to breach,
for her dad to begin a storyas simple as that.

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