Stonecoast Review Issue 5

Far from Ohio

Written By: Carl Boon

In Florida I hauled laundry,
brushed palmetto fronds. But there was also
a black and yellow spider
watching me
from the edge of Apartment 10.
It watched me
especially on Thursdays, the way
men on the Metrobus
here in Istanbul
watch foreigners
while they’re talking
on the telephone. English words.
Drawn-out vowels.

There were alligators, too. Babies
sprawled on sun-touched rocks,
the elders below
imagining blood
or kids. By dusk,
the spider had vanished. They must sleep,
having watched all day.
We must refrain. We mustn’t sing,
we are foreigners
scraping their air,
our syllables, their morning,
our going through
their sacred spaces—
leaning so as not to disturb.

A native Ohioan, Carl Boon lives and works in Izmir, Turkey. His poems appear in dozens of magazines, most recently Two Thirds North, Jet Fuel Review, Blast Furnace, and the Kentucky Review.

Facebook: /carljboon