Daniel Khalastchi Poems




A Series of Movements



 And with each step tile

 lays out before me.  It


 pushes from the grass

 clean without streaks.  When


 I change my path, the tile

 keeps ahead.  I walk it


 over traps.  Through the court-

 yard.  Around puddles and


 manholes, straight into the

 ocean where the water grabs


 deep for the buoy line.  After

 every small movement, my


 toes reel against the dry, caulk-

 colored flooring.  I stand still as


 possible for what feels like many

 minutes: terns and wrens picking


 my side for red clams, the tide washing beach

 up hard to my knees.  Bent back from the


 waist, the birds

 fill me with shells until


 my throat won't close. I cough like

 a night bell of Spanish maracas.  A hall to dark


 sea stays waiting below. My fingers are

 boneless.  I can't scratch my neck.





Daniel Khalastchi is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His poems have appeared in a variety of journals, including Denver Quarterly, Ninth Letter, Court Green, Octopus Magazine, The New Hampshire Review, Fairy Tale Review, Sonora Review, and GutCult, among others.  A recent fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, he currently teaches at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.


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