Thirst by Pia Taavila-Borsheim


At the southern tip of Key West, beachside,
a café opens its groaning shutters to palm trees.
Pigeons rise and flutter toward the sand
where land and ocean meet, of one mind.

Tourists stroll the long blocks as a man
in gold lame bicycles down the lane,
a blue parrot perched on his shoulder.
Rheumy-eyed shrimpers congregate in parks.
Jamaican nannies rouse to their charges.

At the other end of Duval Street, a bakery’s
blue awnings overlook the Gulf. A lizard
climbs the door jamb. Pecans on waffles.
Purple lantana. Frothy ferns.
Dew glistens on coquina walls.

All this tropical blooming. All this moisture.
Not one single drop of you.


Pia Taavila-Borsheim, Ph.D.

Recent work has been released in or is forthcoming from The Adirondack Review, Southern Humanities Review, 32 Poems, Tar River Poetry, storySouth, The Southern Review, Duende, Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry, Birmingham Poetry Review, Barrow Street, The Broadkill Review and Ibbetson Street, among others. Poems have also been included in such anthologies as Deaf Lit Extravaganza, and The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry.

Moon on the Meadow: Collected Poems 1977 – 2007, was published by Gallaudet University Press in 2008, while a chapbook, Two Winters, was released by Finishing Line Press in 2011. Notes to David was composed from 2012 – 2015, a portion of which was critiqued at last summer’s Sewanee Writers’ Conference by the late Claudia Emerson and B. H. Fairchild.



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