Joseph Mulholland




Not really a boardwalk. A strip of bars,
restaurants, & kiosks running along the shore.
It was the summer we refused to take the plastic
covering off our mattress for fear of bedbugs.
Every night the bottom sheet’s elastic corners
lost traction & loosened their triangular grip.
There were nights we awoke to bare skin on
plastic—the fan wheezing on hi. We lived
with strangers in a high-ceilinged apartment.
We ate what they cooked. We washed their dishes.
Each morning a new forest. Tree trunks
sheathed in dark alleyways. A canopy
of tangled kites. Flat-footed peasants pushing
bicycles through a snowdrift. We watched as
the forest fire burned in reverse—the last sparks
swallowed up by the match head’s silence.


JOSEPH MULHOLLAND’s poems appear or are forthcoming in ILK Journal, interrupture, Heavy Feather Review, alice blue review & Bayou. He lives in San Juan & is a graduate student at the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras.


Read more by Joseph Mulholland:

Poem in ILK Journal
Poem in interrupture
Two poems in alice blue review