Diane Sahms-Guarnieri


One empty shoe, small canoe
not wanting yet to die, swam to
the bank without a foot inside.

Not the same fate for the other
which is lying somewhere at the bottom
of a reflective river, where minnows dart

in and out like a sunken ship placed in
gravel of his old bedroom’s aquarium,
where minnows he raised multiplied in

the thousands. He is now dreaming,
face down, body bloated and floating
wanting to be, whomever he was

in a faraway kingdom of the living.
Shrunken fingertips, almost touching
lost ship of life sunken somewhere

near seaweed spread of mermaid’s
glowing hair.



Diane Sahms-Guarnieri is the author of four poetry collections, most recently The Handheld Mirror of the Mind (Kelsay Press, 2018) and Images of Being; Light’s Battered Edge; and Night Sweat. She has been published in many magazines and is poetry editor at North of Oxford, an online literary journal.