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Veronica Schorr

Intermission


I am walking the shore with my eyes closed

The sandpipers are running into the water

Not away

They are bathing themselves

Sometimes lines come to me in a dream

Lines that become a poem

Lines that become a door

Other times I count the mirrors on the wall

In my grandmother’s house 12

Twelve mirrors next to the crucifix

Hope for Judas is the name of the play

I seek forgiveness

On the sand

In the undercurrent

Though I am still not sure what for

When the curtain rises the sandpipers are sleeping

They sleep standing up

One wing tucked over their head

Necks turned grotesquely

The whole audience feels how the most beautiful things

Are grotesquely written

And that is why I am sure

No one is watching

I am at the intermission

So I don’t know

How this ends

Do the birds fly away

Does the protagonist trip do they

Become the antagonist

Aren’t they already and where

The hell is Judas is he

The mirror

Or is he walking is

He grotesque too and also

Beautiful does he sleep

Standing up seeking

Forgiveness

He dreams of the sandpipers

Bravissimo he says to them

To no one

Because the audience isn’t watching no one

Is watching the birds tucking themselves into bed

And this upsets them and the antagonist nearly walks

Into them and this upsets them and before the audience

Knows it the sandpipers are shattering

The mirrors with their sharp little beaks

Squeaking bravissimo?

Bravissimo??

All are shattered all but

One

Just the one

The one Judas looks into and whispers

Grotesque



At Smugglers Cove


The importance of fish jumping is never about the fish themselves; it’s unclear whether Nigel the bartender is a flirt or just from Tortola. A catamaran anchors off the western point and the rooster crows intermittently, the siren of this sea—as in, alarm, not beautiful mermaid. The drinks are strong but not too strong. You’re on your third and I haven’t even started. I swore off alcohol as my New Year’s Resolution and it’s the only one I’ve ever been able to keep. I resolve not to leave this place, and to remember, from now on, that you use your pointer finger, line by line, when you read. Five years, and how did I not notice until now? At Smugglers Cove, I notice things: it’s about what’s chasing the fish. The tradeoff is that I can no longer ignore them. That, and how rocky it is to wade into the water.

 

Veronica Schorr is the author of Conscious Blue (Finishing Line Press, 2021) and winner of the Collins Literary Prize in Poetry. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in Honey Literary, Entropy, Peregrine, and elsewhere. Most recently, she was shortlisted for the 2022 Penrose Poetry Prize. Veronica is Assistant Poetry Editor at EcoTheo Review and a content writer. When she's not writing, reading, or making photos, you can usually find her hiking somewhere around Phoenix (O'odham and Piipaash land) with her partner. Visit her online at veronicaschorr.com.



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