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Zachary Kluckman Synonyms for Vessel A derelict, he says, is a useless boat. A broken vessel with no life left in her hull. So don’t you be calling me no derelict, boy, I got plenty of float left in me! The spit forms a kind of fur on his lip. A miniscule storm off the starboard slur of his mouth. The kid who started this, with a slander cast casual as alley cats, rolls his shoulders at the old man. Stares at a faint moon haunting the edge of storefronts like a shy child. Waits for the words to stop, as if clearing the mud from a rusty spigot. I wonder if this is meant to be a kind of respect. In his evaluation of the subject, later will he boast of his willingness to listen to a flush of children in similar jackets, count himself accounted for the lack of shouting back. Or brag of the shipwreck he witnessed, how it tried to crawl into a bottle. I want to ask what insurance he carries against the flood of his own middle age. How well he will fare beyond the reef with such a little raft of a heart, but the old man stops, hands the boy his bottle. If you’re so interested in broken vessels, boy, here’s the blueprint. Go on, build one of your own.

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Profile for Mojave River Media

Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019  

The Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019 issue spotlights superb poetry and prose by brilliant contributors from around the globe. Enjoy 2...

Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019  

The Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019 issue spotlights superb poetry and prose by brilliant contributors from around the globe. Enjoy 2...

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