by Scott Waters

Leaving the Cove

City lights flicker like candles
burning the hem of 5 a.m.

I finish my bowl of cereal
lace up my shoes
and wrap my hand around
the door knob

like a fly fisherman wading into
a cold green mountain stream.

This is the Light

I fumble out the front door
two dogs and a snarl of leashes

a woman at the corner
stands and stares
at a red-leafed maple
dowsed in lemon light

the sky is a grey lid of clouds
with a crack in the East

I want to tell the woman
this is the light
that drew John Lennon and Yoko Ono
to San Francisco
for frequent visits

but the woman
has already moved on

so has the light

and so has John.

Other Lives

Red bicycle
someone left you
flung into yellow leaves
dew drops glistening on rusty spokes
a cobweb strung from seat to handlebars
vibrating in the breeze

you are a tune fallen on deaf ears
a whirlwind corkscrewed
into soft ground

I pick you up
shake off the dew
wrap the cobweb around my wrist
and pedal carefully through damp leaves

into someone else’s karma.

A Bus is a River

gurgling through city neighborhoods
scraping paint from the banks
of stucco houses and
brick apartment buildings
sweeping up walking branches
twigs of arms, trunks of legs
depositing them downtown
at the eastern bend of nowhere

sleeping at night in a lagoon
misnamed a parking lot
asphalt flecked with bright reflections
of the undulating stars

a bus
you might say

is a river

Bay Bridge

Dead at dawn

sleepless at
the kitchen table
hopes pinned
to an underachieving
cup of coffee

through the window
tops of blue clouds
frosted with yellow
and beneath them
a faraway hillside
dusted in gold

I think of the poem
I will write
about some
middle-aged man
sitting at his
kitchen table
on the opposite
side of the bay
with heavy lids
kids snoring in their beds
dog curled at his feet

wondering how he will
get through
another day
on 2 hours’ sleep

and as he gazes
out his window
at the light
chasing shadows
from the East Bay hills

he thinks
of the poem
he will write

about me.

About the Author:

Scott Waters lives in Oakland, California with his wife and son.  He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.  Scott has published previously in A New Ulster, The Pangolin Review, Amethyst, Poetica Review, Ink in Thirds, Praxis, The Santa Clara Review, and other journals.