EITHER OAR

by Wryly T. McCutchen

I rock in my lock

and dip my brown big end in, heaves down

the cold pull of forward sculpts

each repeat motion cuts circles between the ocean.

 

Does propulsion really require a choice?

Must I in?

Must I out?

Must I trace salt drops through

the air?

Must I drag bubbles through the cold

inevitable distinction?

 

But a ligature's lull of

wondering means disruption

and I know

I'll be hoisted overboard

if I'm not cog in the good little engine

whose functions you can always predict

so I choose.

 

And let the punctured gunwale I'm locked in

thrusts me into fulcrum.

I am machine

I am simplified

I can now be put to use.

 

 

Wryly T. McCutchen's poetry and nonfiction has appeared in Wilde Magazine, Alive With Vigor, The Prague Revue, and Raven Chronicles. They were awarded an MFA in creative writing with dual concentration in creative nonfiction and poetry from Antioch University and their first poetry manuscript, My Ugly and Other Love Snarls, is forthcoming from University of Hell Press.

 

 

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Nat. Brut is a proud winner of a 2020 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize