Andy Keys

Sonnet for the Night

Poor town, sawmill
all gone, stacks of logs
rotting on the lot. Poor people,
fired loggers making fires
of the logs, taking odd jobs
or training to be officers,
learning different ways to kill
time, sitting out the storms
in squad cars on the pier, getting
calls that teens are breaking curfew,
tracking down their yardsaled clothes,
wading into water fraught
with bodies, naked, drunk, and hiding
from the cops: children “fishing in the dark.”

Sonnet for Autumn

Fact: packrats die 
when beat through canvas sacks and dropped
beneath the dock, and decompose 
when weighted down, and will be gone 
before the dam drains in autumn, 
leaving only overfed crawdads
crawling through tattered burlap.

Walk the lakebed. Recover the lost
long-dropped things from the craving
clay: old bikes, Nikons,
jewelry, lures. Catch a crawdad,
put it back. Let the mud suck
your shoes like a lover. Listen to the loons
mourning, all morning.

Sonnet for Dreams

In Pend Oreille, just beneath
the fluvial upper rough, beneath
the sinking coins and phones, the shrinking
penises of skinny dippers,
beneath the light, where sturgeons
stagnate deep, age eons, sleep
among the submarines, cetacean
lullabies of radar beeps,
do not seek meaning. Watch rust grow
on rebar, your mother’s ring. Seep
deeper, see several false teeth,
eagle beaks, bones of old flings,
the rest of your endless breath, in dreams
you’re swimming deep beneath the lake.

Andy Keys is a writer from Sandpoint, Idaho, the child of a weaver and a winemaker. He is an M.F.A. candidate at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he teaches introductory classes in poetry and creative writing. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Shore and Thin Air Magazine.