Alex Z. Salinas: “Overboard”





I dreamt I was pushed over the edge 

Before I was ready to jump

And the surface stung like a jellyfish’s caress 

As I sunk in the pusher’s tears— 

Herman Melville’s agony—

And anchored to my ankle was 


And I gurgled the ocean with a fleeting sense of

Poetic justice 

As the cold watery locker

Reclaimed my lungs &

The sun sailed & vanished—

Would it dive in &

Resurface my aching bones?—

How was I to know?

A killer poet (& poet killer) 

Was on the loose

And a line by Renata Adler

Rattled my suffocating mind:

Lonely people see 

Double entendres everywhere—

Would Melville attend my estate sale

And buy my library wholesale?—

How was I to know?

The deep salty palace believes not in


But I don’t pretend to 

Speak for the darkness

Accepting me blindly—


Which is to say

Here I’m treasured 

Even though I arrived by way of

Sitting on a powder keg—

Then I woke up & choked on my spit.



About the Author: Alex Z. Salinas is the author of two full-length poetry collections: WARBLES and DREAMT, or The Lingering Phantoms of Equinox. He is also the author of a book of stories, City Lights From the Upside Down. He holds an M.A. in English Literature and Language from St. Mary’s University. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.


Image Credit: Chase Dimock “Chain-Link Ocean” (2022)

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