Michael J. Galko, two poems

May 1, 2018


Now to take a moment for all the poems this did not in fact become


that image

of the soft avocado flesh

turning slowly brown…


that ending

where every last eyelash

flutters alone…


these are

the woodworker’s sawdust,

the sculptor’s shavings,


lying still on the floor

by the new bench, the new piece,

waiting for the old broom…




My wedding band sits in Reykjavik harbor


For a brief moment it twirled

in the arctic dusk, then dove.


From a distance, throwing arm

in silhouette, feet rooted on the


lava breakwall, it might have

seemed an act of spite. It was not.


What happiness the ring enclosed–

I gave thanks for that. Its gold


I returned. May its glint catch

the beady eye of a langoustine


or that of some small harborfish–

a little nibble not the death


that comes with the hook.

Let the creature, whatever it is,


attempt to digest it, in the spots

where I tried and failed.


Perhaps a whale will breath

it in and blow it out to some


deeper sea. That is the idea–

a rejoining with the larger


world. Or maybe it will just

sit still on the ground lava,


and when new storms come

I can imagine the silence


writ down there, safe

from prop, from keel, from net.


Michael J. Galko is an Associate Professor of Genetics at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  His laboratory studies wound healing and pain, as does his poetry. He has lived about a third of his life each in New England, California, and Texas. He has recently had poems published or accepted at The Red River Review, Poetry WTF!?, Failed Haiku, bottle rockets, Right Hand Pointing, The Ocotillo Review, The Red Eft Review, and The Mojave River Review. In 2016 he was a juried poet at the Houston Poetry Fest. 

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