The Diver

When we heard the hector of crows, the sky turned
lightfast as tracing paper, though no one copied the scene:
spruce trees leaking from open sores, the town drunk,
innocent, shaken out and beaten like a rug.
Our laughter, brother, used to clink like ice in tumblers.
Days slid tickets under glass for us to travel
free of charge. You sculpted like wind and sea,
without models or deadlines, chisel or rasp.
I strummed non-minor chords of guitar.
Then the mirror in our room grew ancient,
demanding eyes for eyes, teeth for teeth,
and our faces wanted contour, color, like empty fruit stands.
Now I lie awake some nights, conjuring the haddock
Fridays at that German place on Fourth, mother’s hair
the hue and rake of straw. And think of those summer trips
when you played dead in motel pools, releasing
all your breath and sinking to the bottom,
where you remained face-down—three, sometimes
four, incredible minutes—until pushing to the surface
and gasping for air, or until some unsuspecting guest,
laced with panic, fully clothed, dove in to rescue you.

Gregory Fraser

Gregory Fraser

Gregory Fraser is the author of four poetry collections: Strange Pietà (Texas Tech University Press, 2003), Answering the Ruins (2009), Designed for Flight (2014), and Little Armageddon (2020), all from Northwestern University Press. He is also the co-author, with Chad Davidson, of the workshop textbook Writing Poetry (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008) and the critical writing textbook Analyze Anything (Bloomsbury, 2012). His poetry has appeared in journals including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Southern Review, Ploughshares, and The Gettysburg Review. Fraser is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.
Gregory Fraser

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Author: Gregory Fraser

Gregory Fraser is the author of four poetry collections: Strange Pietà (Texas Tech University Press, 2003), Answering the Ruins (2009), Designed for Flight (2014), and Little Armageddon (2020), all from Northwestern University Press. He is also the co-author, with Chad Davidson, of the workshop textbook Writing Poetry (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008) and the critical writing textbook Analyze Anything (Bloomsbury, 2012). His poetry has appeared in journals including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Southern Review, Ploughshares, and The Gettysburg Review. Fraser is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.