Stephen Kopel
Stephen Kopel

[Listen to a reading of this poem.]

steps out of a suitcase
bigger than her britches
no sturdy yardarm to steady
the pitched battle of her nerves

tosses anger overboard -
svelte anchor of petty hurts -
in the venison canal
where meter eaters
lunch with e. coli,
poled passengers fulminate,

and, she,
astride a mute buoy bobbing,
recalls that loquacious bully
in her mom's glove compartment

teaching her to belch
now buried in Venetian glass

suitcase tents,
in case of breakage

Stephen Kopel's work has appeared in Margie, Free Lunch, Aethion, the Antigonish Review, and elsewhere and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He created, and runs, the Word Painters poetry events at branch libraries in San Francisco.