Free This Bed

by Melissa Carroll

Free this bed of broken coils
and window locks and garter chains,
let all my seasons blow through silvered curtains
and move the mattress to the lawn. I am ready for
the dry spell, sucking

lovers through the keyhole down the street to
the pub’s gates, over the cement railing to the gulf.
The men, all shapes and sizes, will bob and drown
like sturdy anchors, down to the sandy gulf-bed,
algae vining up wet, warped pant legs. Their sweet bubble talk
will reach the cold water’s surface
forever, tickling pelican’s
slow circling feet.

How lucky to live near the gulf, milky winter water
turning rhinestone in summer, day-glow autumn
waves, short lived spring tides. Home. Funny, the less
love you have the less you want any. Some wishing well
of affection plunged down, now lifted out in a big red bucket,
levied by a strong maiden’s calloused hands, heaving rung
by heavy naked rung.


Melissa Carroll is an MFA candidate at the University of South Florida and recently received the Estelle J. Zbar Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in Greatest Uncommon Denominator, Jerseyworks, Feile-Festa, 63 Channels, and elsewhere. She is a poetry editor for Sweet Literary Confection and a nonfiction and art editor for Saw Palm Journal. Melissa also teaches yoga and catalogues her stumbling, crooked path toward enlightenment