Michael Tyrell


I knew it was too quick,
the rocks seem to say.
Her old drowning phobia:
She doesn’t want to leave
the world to be a fish again.
But pain strands her, another crag.
It also gives her a view
of her birthplace. I left it
too, and won’t be forgiven.
But it’s not absolution I’m seeking.
There’s a transformation I’ve not
done yet myself. Listen,
I say, you’re multiple.
Powerful. You carried
the salt all along;
it’s the unresurrected
who need to worry, like garden slugs
we leave our light everywhere.

Michael Tyrell’s work has appeared in Agni, The Best American Poetry 2015, The Iowa Review, The New England Review, The Night Heron Barks, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The Yale Review, and many other magazines and anthologies. He’s the author of a book of poems, The Wanted (National Poetry Review, 2012), and a book of prose poems, Phantom Laundry (Backlash, 2017). With Julia Spicher Kasdorf, he edited Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn (2007). 

Next poem

Previous poem

Spring 2021