Job 9:20, America, 2017

Though I am innocent I have enjoyed

an ease of travel and credit, cheap food,

piracy of intangible goods without consequence,

driven by envy of health care or family leave,

and that I live in a myopic fog

tearful in the bright lights of human virtues

is a tedious alternation of malaise and worship

for which my own mouth would condemn me.

They Found an Underwater Forest in Alabama

The words wouldn't bring it to me

not the fisher, nor the oiler

Not like saying they was the trees that escaped

or the sediment that slipped past I-10

while the dead wood drift took us down

twisted and crocheted us round each other

and Mobile day in and day out

passing through town

and we looked one way, two ways,

ever which a way an we saw nothing.

But if you told me in all my days

about this island under the waves

or this swamp in an ocean desert

well the words wouldn't bring it to me—

not the forest, nor the trees.

But I always knew we was sinkin.

I always bore the brunt of that

general drift of things, seein how

so much of us done sunk already,

and how the decorative coral and its allies

watch us hungry: C'mon you sumbitch.

Take the bait, pack it in. Call it a day,

dead wood drift. Call it a day.

Jeremy Ray Jewell is from Jacksonville, Florida. He has an MA in History of Ideas from Birkbeck College, University of London, and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts Boston. He maintains a blog of his creative writings entitled "That's Not Southern Gothic."