Looking for a Sign of Life

His eyes were already burning
from the smoke of the cigarette stuck to his lips
when the river running southeast
towards Felton took a shallow leap
and headed east. He stood in the rush
and held his hands out like oars
to the water, as if he were a dike
and could hold back the flood.

Two days later they found him,
lodged in a tree that crossed
between a house and rookie
sandbar, an unlit cigarette
stuck to his lower lip,
and his thumb and forefinger
snapping against each other
giving the universal request for a light.


About the Poet:
Jeff Burt lives in California with his wife amid the redwood and two-lane roads wide enough for one car. He has work in The Nervous Breakdown, Amarillo Bay, Atticus Review, and forthcoming in Per Contra. He was the featured summer issue poet of Clerestory, won the 2011 SuRaa short fiction award, and been nominated for a Best of the Net Award.



Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.


Photo by Chraecker Heller.