September Poem of the Month — Joe Jiménez

The Gull


Tonight I am talking in the bay’s white fog,

a spot where the bay shuts its mouth,

and a gull glides near.

Stiff-winged, the gull sings the thick whistle

of an old wound.  Once, I stood

in the bay’s dark waters.

I was a boy looking at the arms of stars,

spindly tips, fingerless, sharp as mouths.

I do not wish these stars closer now.

I never did.  And though the gull gets nearer stars

than I ever Will, I do not envy the lone gull

its night air or its dark tail.  The gull must cull fog

with tiny eyes, its short black beak pushing

first, and I simply can stand

like a turned post in the white slow mud of wind,

an old log left behind by a long-left-behind bridge

or an old man who is dust in this damp sand.

Now I will long forget the dampness of this sand.

And I can stare at the wind like the stars for an hour,

for Will has lost its blessing, and I am washed

from the skin by the rattle

of waves, by cold air.  This white salt

in the water on the sand as dim

as the dead star reaching,

reaching into the gull’s dark white heaven.

I look away.  I wander into the wide night.


Joe Jiménez lives in South Texas with his two xolo itzcuintlis and an affinity for the Gulf.  He authored Silver Homeboy Flicka Illuminates the San Juan Courts at Dawn (Gertrude Press 2012), and his work has appeared in elimae, La Petit Zine, and the short film “El Abuelo.”