A Friend Encourages Me to Travel to South America

By Mike Wright

Featured Art: by Bertha E. Jaques

I can’t handle cherries. When I see
them at the store, full of tart surprise,
I pass them up; it’s the breaking of tight
skin and release of flesh. I want
the thing ten steps down from the ecstatic.
Instead of cherries, cherry soda.
So how could I handle South America?
What would I do with a sea, with salt
air winding through me like a shell?
I live the nub of life, the thumbnail
sketch, fish sticks and cigarettes.
I would never survive the cherries
of South America. What’s a cherry
soda after a cherry? What do I dream of
after Brazil?

Mike Wright is a poet based in Columbus, Ohio, whose work has previously appeared in Gigantic SequinsLake EffectHunger Mountain, and New Ohio Review, among others, and his work was nominated for the anthology Best New Poets in 2017. He spent three years in residency at Milo Arts, where he co-coordinated the With Poetry reading series from his studio. Presently, he is an editor for underground comics with Dutch Meadows Productions, and he is a contributing editor for the forthcoming magazine Super Spreader.

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