The National Poetry Review

Darren Morris


The theologian at the bottom of the pool
has been holding his breath
much longer than we thought possible.

I know he went down there
to escape his job, his wife, his failures,
and to take counsel from Jesus,

the Buddha, and Muhammad, who he
juggled like three red coals in his hands.
His face turned to his three children

who splashed, half-panicked above him.
Eyes closed, legs crossed, Ganeshian,
two bubbles escaped his mouth.

One was filled with the dead child
and the other, with the name of my sister,
the beauty, who waited to be born.

DARREN MORRIS received his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and a fellowship from Virginia Commission for the Arts. His poems have appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, The American Poetry Review, New England Review, and The Missouri Review. New work can be found at The Burnside Review and is forthcoming from Blackbird and Juked. He lives in Richmond, Virginia and is the poetry editor at Parhelion Literary Magazine.

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