Mikal Wix

Mikal Wix grew up in the Melting Pot of Miami, Florida, of green-thumbed, hydrophilic parents. The city seeded insights into many outlooks, including the visions of a revenant from the Caribbean closet. He studies literature and anthropology and has recent words in the Berkeley Poetry Review, Beyond Queer Words, Tahoma Literary Review, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Hyacinth Review, & works as a science editor.

Because a Flower Turns

Originally published under the title “Losing the Better Part of Us” in Roi Fainéant Press

Because a flower turns around at night
it needs the tears of hindsight to see
the mind of infinity flare,
blowing out in a flash of wit
your life unabridged, and me shifting
in that feral wind to meet every movement,
all the passions like wildfire, tilted up to the sky
to try and find you night after night,
missing you, a twilit castaway—
petals on a savage river, or the zest of your skin
flying up inside the numbing starlight,
answering yes, always yes, to the life we created
becoming the pink upon the mist, never needing
to look back because the tides have stopped,
and the clouds have fled from the blue,
until only the river stones beneath our bare feet,
a Stellarum Fixarum,
come together the same at the beginning as at the end.
I reach through the swash to hold you again,
in the midst,
your phantom gaze bearing me thunderstruck,
into being by the high of counting
every follicle on our newborn child’s head,
and then all the moments in between rush passed us
in a blur of grief, but also wonder,
and the stories of our passage, our arrival here without you
on this plain of feathers, scales, hairs, and flowers,
mix with fear, desire, rancor, and doubt,
more than any tree might contain in root, leaf, or bark,
or any church might burn in wax
to loft the prayers and wishes of bringing you back,
all of us wicks bending flame in the Harmattan breeze,
to gently wipe clean
your dour end with some new diluvial fever
of birth, a pure poem of providence,
of animal spirits and celestial virtue,
a primeval brume rolling down my face in beads
in another race to the strand
to find the beach pebbles end
again at the start.

Staying Above the Wreck

for Adrienne Rich

Originally published in Penumbra: Literary and Art Journal

The men float
swaying above cities of barrier reef,
sharp splendor, fingers whispering
underwater into the ears of tiny fish,
with their audience fomenting seaweed
washing their heads,
and not a rubber suit or fin
beyond the soles of their feet.
They stay awake treading
water in uniforms gesturing
at the dark swells below,
like priests swinging thuribles,
thin, swirling currents of bubbles,
oil and smoke expounding
upon their brave compromises
to escape the Moon’s witchy undertow,
and to attend the survivor’s toast,
lifting mugs to all the drowned things.
The men float into the cold night
to try and capture the shore
with her battalions of stones
slowly undulating forward
and then crashing thunderously.
They stay awake
looking up into the racing clouds
to find the June moon bright
with her mouth wide, eating carelessly
all their supplications and condemnations—
such odd exhaust rising from their splintered ship;
the white fills their eyes with froth.
The men fall
asleep drifting in soggy life vests
beneath each breaking threat,
and gulp and swig imagined beers or teas,
most in the salty seizures
of a dawning oasis
yielding to the heat of day
to reveal the loosened swells of mourning,
for bobbing officers and men
and the decay of stillness
in the teeming vacuum of loss.