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Nick Antosca: Three Poems
The Danger of Swimming Pools | The Ruined Light | A Path to Stranger Things

The Danger of Swimming Pools

i. zero

      A moonlight-silver membrane
wobbles giggling on the swimming pool's
skin, its wet gleams sliding, nimble, over liquid ridges,
like streams of deliberate mercury.

While I sleepwalk in that direction, awake.

ii. one

  Seen distinctly in the remorseless darkness, I might remind you
of times when your avid, ravenous fingers knew precisely
what to do, and you (full of butterflies) followed them.

As I now follow my blind, confident feet.

  To the concrete's thick curved lip, jutting out above
dark water, dead mirror. And I'm about to dive in reverse,
feet-first, and disappear into the opacity, when the feminine sob
of a tremendous moth plunges into the hush and my
ankles go limp as abruptly I rise, trembling

           at a liminal threshold,
suspended beyond science or insanity
above the obscure unlit water that raises itself, in
fascinated Appalachian swells, to touch my weathered feet with wet fingers,
like a sea of melted and intermingled glass hands, extending to see
if my human feet are freezing or ghostly or real.

The Ruined Light

Daylight is lying, deceiving
us as we lazily coruscate (perspiratory
gleams, slippery lotion being dissolved by heat)
under an overzealous summer sun, sleeping,
seducing and being seduced in na´ve
dreams, never noticing the glare
itself, the sun's blaze,

Not until we wake
do we realize we've been
permeated by a milky, nacreous scent:
fresh sunlight turning spoiled. All nearby
we can see the deterioration with our eyes—
daylight is slowly turning a sulfurous
yellowy color, becoming palpable
to fingers, like elderly gelatin
or trembling lemon jelly.
But before our minds congeal,
we panic, dash to the patio, scramble
up the stairs and inside.

Remaining in the basement
each day is difficult, but we have
each other's tattoos to read and memories
to dredge loose with heavy sieves and
several days to live.

A Path to Stranger Things

The ground was soup
as I ran through the heavy rain.
(Running to the secret pasture
to find a calf born under the moon.)
I embarked, perhaps,
on a trip of some permanence.
I knew the storm would bring sickness
and I should run, should live
while I can. Tore my drenched palms
on the wet splintery fence post,
tumbled down the unstable hill,
sheets of earth sliding down behind me to
a scene of sleet and trees.

Through the pines I get only a glimpse
of a muddy red parka
disappearing up the next forested hill.
Soaked, I start after her again.

Poet's Biography:
Nick Antosca, a native of New Orleans, is a sophomore at Yale. His poems and fiction have appeared in The Antietam Review, The Paumanok Review, Blue Monk Press, Amarillo Bay, The Red River Review, Bluesap,, Etcetera, Sendecki, Deep Cleveland, and USA Weekend online, among others. He recently finished writing his first novel (represented by the DeFiore Agency) and can be contacted at

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