Florida Trick – James A. H. White

Golden silk orb-weaver:
it doesn’t matter how, in one night,
you’ve dazzled the atlas of atlases,
city of cities, across my front door.
Tell me: why did you sacrifice
a larger haul not canopying under
a street light? Am I really worth more
than the frantic clouds of fly wings—
their constant deposits of charms?
Do the men who want me to call them
daddy want to feel old, or for me to
feel young? If you’ve been riding
the wind across the ocean, as I read you can,
you know I’m not the kind of man who
abandons his home or bed like a moth,
flippant & foolishly jiving outside
on nothing short of a whisper or flit
of bright. You’d know I learned early in
my emigrations to never leave a place
without inconsolable want. But to never
let myself trouble enough of a tremor
that would unleash your legs or unlatch
your spirit, & whirl you toward my bristles,
my hind wing, let you dance on my back,
what kind of migrant would I then be, not
raw or outlandish in any way? Perhaps
it’s no surprise then, how curious I am
of you. Perhaps it’s no surprise how
many times a man has walked out my door.
So, come inside, if you’d like. Let me hold
open the door. Show me just
how far you’d go & wide your net.
Show me just how hungry I make you.



Author Bio: James A.H. White is the author of the chapbook hiku [pull] (Porkbelly Press, 2016). Winner of an AWP Intro Journals Project award, his poetry appears in Best New British & Irish Poets 2018 (selected by Maggie Smith), Black Warrior ReviewColorado ReviewQuarterly West, and Washington Square Review, among other journals. A first-generation Japanese-British U.S. immigrant, he currently teaches at Florida Atlantic University, where he was a Lawrence A. Sanders poet fellow. Twitter: @jamesahwhite

The author: zlis@iastate.edu