I am Related by Blood to the Sea
In Memory of John B. McLemore

Stuart Gunter

Two weeks after
Christmas, skeletons and flashing
pumpkins hanging
on a mailbox down
the street:
a sandwich of elbow-teeth.

Tell me I am not a ghost.
Let my flesh grow
old and crumble like
a clusterfuck of sorrow.

I stay away from humans.
Hallucination is real. What
are the benefits of escape?
I seek refuge
at the ocean’s shore.

The ocean greets the beach
with waves: impossible
to pay our debts. Panic flowers
like a kiss: tedious and brief.
There will be nights
when I will be lonely.
I am related by blood to the sea.

Stuart Gunter lives in Schuyler, Virginia, where he reads, writes, paddles the Rockfish River, and plays drums in obscure rock bands. His work has appeared in Broad Street, Whurk, Waxing & Waning,and The Artemis Journal, among others.