Sandra Marchetti


A fat snake
swiveled down
a branch
into the river
and I wondered,
what if I had
missed that?
I said to a
girl, “They’re
usually not
that big,”
sure she had
seen it flop,
but she said
“Thank God
I did not.
I would have
bloody murder!”
I walked on
smiling, tracing
the thing’s
path, its

The Dream

It might
have been

a blue eye

shut; your
eyes snapped

shut and
opened again.


“…down the sea’s / dissolving halls.”
      ~Elizabeth Bishop

Once at a reservoir

I found a water cave

to climb that

pitched you through

to the held body.

Hard chute, dark

corridor toward


At breakfast today,

my husband asked

why I love the open

water. It is the smear

where the sky breaks sea.


An abalone dish
gleams through
the river snapping
a foot above it.

I scan the light
for its other half
as a bluegill
waves past.

Freshwater clams
will grow up to
eight inches and
live fifty years.

I reach into
the movement, flashing
the shell on my hand—
a crushed can.

And the wind running through it

Float the horizon by
                                        red balloon

graph coordinates crested to

slant fast in last

release a cloud

sink to the opposite


A yellow streak
low between
the Japanese maples.

Sandra Marchetti is the author of Confluence, a full-length collection of poetry from Sundress Publications  and four chapbooks of poetry and lyric essays. Her  poetry appears in EcotoneBlackbirdThe Hollins CriticSouthwest ReviewSubtropics, and elsewhere. Essays can be found in PleiadesMid-American ReviewBarrelhouse, and other venues. Sandy is the Poetry Editor at River Styx Magazine.