The National Poetry Review

Will Cordeiro


Past slash of beach grass cross-
winds spin in halos, this sift of

trailheads loping over shoulders
berserk in ersatz ziggurats. Lop

-sided cliffs jigsaw a bluff; re-
shuffle clefts with coleslawed

muck where stippled bird-tracks
hieroglyph. Ripples shift. Over-

grazed, slopes scarp across a haze
of sinkholes, blunted by the dwarf

pine. Tides ruck bleached-out drift-
wood, spindrift, pinkish beach-rose:

mosquito beds in marsh march up
the brackish backwaters & stubble

scrub moss with heron nests as
nettle masses flick a threadbare

glare across the fastness. A snatch
of shell this far inland is seized &

snuffed to scurries of debris: any
ruffle in the benthic zones would

bubble up a sphagnum bog
or boggle over kettle ponds.

The cloudroads perish overhead
as plovers brace against a breeze.

Each seizure-trace is torqued into
a self-effacing loft of serried herds

as tourists probe against the grain
then race a loping scurf—addled

edge they’re adding to: all carried
away by the current’s errant urge.

WILL CORDEIRO has recent work appearing or forthcoming in Best New Poets, DIAGRAM, Nashville Review, [PANK], Poetry Northwest, Zone 3, and elsewhere. He is grateful for a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, a scholarship from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a Truman Capote Writer’s Fellowship, as well as residencies from ART 342, Blue Mountain Center, Ora Lerman Trust, Petrified Forest National Park, and Risley Residential College. He received his MFA and Ph.D. from Cornell University. He lives in Flagstaff, where he teaches in the Honors College at Northern Arizona University.

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