Issue > Poetry
Gregory Stapp

Gregory Stapp

Gregory Stapp received his BA from the University of Oklahoma and his MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. His poems have appeared in Outside In Literary & Travel Magazine, Lime Hawk Journal, Shot Glass, The Ekphrastic Review and Forage among others. He recently served as the Poetry Editor for Qu: A Literary Magazine.

Tricks of the Eye

Distant now, my brother ambles
south down the railroad tracks
that narrow to a point or seem to
disappear, as he does, by noon,
until he's no longer a man, from denim
jacket to shimmer to absence.
A train is coming. I move to the side.
I hope he moves aside too.

After the train, a dragonfly falls
in frenetic spasms on its back,
a death rattle between the tracks,
and its shudders weaken to twitches
until it is no longer an insect, the wind
alone seeming to flutter its wings now.
A front is rolling in. I look to the sky.
And now the dragonfly has gone.

On my walk to work in the morning,
I stop on the bridge high over the river,
compelled as a child to drop something in:
twig or penny, a dragonfly wing
or my brother's button, some parcel of self.
The river takes everything from me.
At its delta downstream I have collected
as a swirl of disparate parts.


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