April 6, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Alexandra Rose photo



Candelin Wahl




Spoiler Alert


“…you open your eyes, and it’s dead as far as you can see.”

                                                from the documentary Chasing Coral



prisoners in a submerged concentration camp,

soft corals on the Great Barrier Reef sound a spectral alarm

one degree rise in Fahrenheit shocks pacifist

pastels into a garish SOS of undulating chartreuse

and purple—no response


between the first wave and the seventh

we watch algaeic life expel—

upstretched water wings decay to ash brown,

skeletons of brancherous corals bleach to eerie opacity


when all the reefs go dark, who will film us

floating over barren rock in our leaky rafts—

hot oceans subtract dinoflagellates, copepods

so long shrimp and sunfish


tuna, marlin and sharks come up empty

the aquatic death march

makes its way up the food chain






Four O’clock Freedom



As you sip your four-dollar chai latte,

blue officer handcuffs shaggy blond

probably homeless young guy on the far corner.


Cop’s fingers frisk cargo shorts pockets, brush

privates – fleshy antennae seek drugs or too much cash.

Kid’s head droops like an unpicked pear long past ripeness.


Second white guy, decrepit, sits there knees up

orange doo rag flaps in four o’clock freedom.

Witnesses up.


Big Blue tucks his docile perp into armored Ford,

closes back door with a soft click, as if afraid

he’ll wake a baby.


Pulls Doo Rag up, sends him zigzag down the sidewalk.

Lawman squirts sanitizer, rubs his hands over and over

ten times more than even Pontius Pilate.


Doo Rag’s unwashed aura crashes

your cinnamon veil. He passes close, right

fingers tentacled around his box of Pall Mall Reds.






Candelin Wahl

Candelin Wahl is an emerging poet who doesn’t mind the muck of relationships in all their tangled forms. She is Poetry Co-Editor of Mud Season Review, and her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Red Wolf Journal, MockingHeart Review, HerStory and 2017 Best of the Burlington Writer’s Workshop. She lives 15 miles from the Canadian border in northwestern Vermont.

Website: https://www.candelinwahl.com/  and Twitter: https://twitter.com/beachdreamvt

Editor review

1 Comment

  1. Georgette Thabault April 06, at 19:27

    Candelin, I love the way your writings are always in motion! (at least what I have enjoyed). I also like that you cause a blink and a sharp sensation, like a scab being picked! Please keep exploring.


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