John A. Nieves

Ekphrasis on the Cover of Static Prevails

It was so much less lonely before the ice
          came, before the world rotated ninety
degrees and the stools emptied and the snow
          took the bar. The second stool in the second
row is where I kissed you the first time. You
          were wearing a rose glow on your cheeks
and your lips cushioned toward me like
          a jukebox leaping to life. This was before
the music was lost in the signal, before
          every color escaped except blue. And so
gravity keeps me from the spot now. I am
          alone here on the cold floor that used to be
the wall, just out of frame. I try to sing along
          to the white noise, but there are no words
but your name and the secret reverb tells
          to the cones of old speakers. Every little icicle
points to somewhere we used to be.

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John A. Nieves has poems forthcoming or recently published in journals such as: North American Review, Copper Nickel, 32 Poems, American Literary Review and Southern Review. He won the Indiana Review Poetry Contest and his first book, Curio, won the Elixir Press Annual Poetry Award Judge’s Prize. He is associate professor of English at Salisbury University and an editor of The Shore Poetry. He received his M.A. from University of South Florida and his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri.