Ed Doerr


Like desperate & confused snakes
slithering from the depths of murky lakes,
blue plastic flues
writhe up her throat to plug into

a square, a box, a damned machine
that, pitiless, prolongs this sullen scene
with billow’s breath,
each huff & puff defying death.

Compress, inflate in endless dance!
Create a syncopated, rhythmic trance!
Hum, hiss, & whir!
The song’s sweet lilt should help her stir.

But no, alas, a glass-glazed sea,
her face—hung slack, heedless to melody—
makes no attempt
to wake, to shake those dreams she dreamt.

So then, cursed box, what do you do,
but infect the wound we’ve been tending to?
With no relief,
we’re left with our putrescent grief.

We beg, we hope, we plead, we pray;
despite your help, she gasps, then slips away.
Her, us, & Time:
the victims of your hateful crime.


A self-professed Twitter obsessive, Ed Doerr is a teacher and the author of ‘Sauteing Spinach With My Aunt’ (Desert Willow Press, 2018). Other words can be found in or forthcoming from Water/Stone Review, Hippocampus Magazine, The American Journal of Poetry, Sky Island Journal, Trampset, One Teen Story, Perhappened, Parentheses, Drunk Monkeys, and more. Readers can follow him on Twitter (@EdDoerrWrites) and visit his website (eddoerr.com).