PoetryCompression Spaces

Nov 26, 2018
Poem by Joseph Gross
Graphic By Stefano Cagnato


When we all get done atom-smashing the god particle 
maybe we can go to a ball game

or sit at least and surround a decent sandwich
and talk about how these days seem sideless—

crap-shot, aluminum sky with planes drawn on, 
the billowing shroud of regret unfurled,

packs of us advancing on our lives the way 
we understand the pool’s grainy floor mostly with our feet, 

how there’s no words anymore just isolated letters
pushing back the page’s awesome white, the slender e

where it cuts and reverses, the a’s delicate shelf,
their improbable resistance to negative space

like our thrilling, despite ourselves, at this perfect dive,
these bubbles pouring off a girl’s sparkling one-piece, 

her body arched and encased 
by gallon after gallon of gentle pressure.

Joseph Gross writes poems, songs, stories, and essays, some of which have appeared in a variety of literary magazines, including  Alaska Quarterly Review, Mid-American Review, Ninth Letter, and Smokelong Quarterly. He is the author of the (sold out) chapbook "Everything At Rest is Ready to Move" (Celery City Press) and currently directs a public library in southwestern Michigan.