John Findura

Something Behind the Mountain

There was something behind the mountain

I did not know what it was—I still do not know what it is

It might be anxiety, my own fear

My ability to take sick from looking at things or hearing things

Me dropping to my knees unable to breathe, again


I saw fire shooting from behind the mountain

And now that might mean the fire is the same as the one in my stomach

Some fire

Some shaking of the ground then a loud noise

I hate loud noises


I would watch the fire behind the mountain from the highway

Near the factory with the large white round building

During my grandfather’s 70th birthday party I saw the fire behind the mountain

I’ve been seeing the fire for so long now

Part of me only exists in the fire itself


Counting Teeth

I count my teeth 

and do not recognize the number

I count my pills 

and do not recognize their names

This is a phone call I place 

to you that you do not pick up

though I know you hear your 

phone ringing

like a stadium anthem

I picture you not picking it up

and not speaking into it

the same way I count my teeth:

Slowly, very slowly, absently

waiting for the numbers to change


John Findura is the author of the poetry collection Submerged (Five Oaks Press, 2017). He holds an MFA in Poetry from The New School, an M.Ed in Professional Counseling, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Educational Technology Leadership at New Jersey City University. His poetry and criticism appear in numerous journals including Verse; Fourteen Hills; Copper Nickel; Pleiades; Forklift, Ohio; Sixth Finch; Prelude; and Rain Taxi. A guest blogger for The Best American Poetry, he lives in Northern New Jersey with his wife and daughters.

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