Derrick Austin

Fountain Statue

A god breathes through the lips of anyone
loved by an artist
She is rendered in marble                  fallible
like memory               And water
spurting from a dolphin’s muzzle
erodes her hair                      the tangled bounty
of a fisherman’s haul              razor clam
spider crab                squid               cuttlefish

Rain                 as we and dozens of musty
tourists pass her                     It is not
mercy             merely the sky
flinging its gorgeous indifference
for when all travel has ceased
the ruined fountain gurgling with the illusion
of life                                    who will remember
the girl                       let alone the god




DERRICK AUSTIN is the author of Trouble the Water, selected by Mary Szybist for the 2015 A Poulin Jr Prize (BOA Editions, Spring 2016). A Cave Canem fellow, he earned his MFA from the University of Michigan. His work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2015, Image: A Journal of Arts and Religion, New England Review, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, The Paris-American, Memorious, and other journals and anthologies. He is the Social Media Coordinator for The Offing.