“Water Man” © Bonnie Matthews Brock


Off-Season, Forever

If I drive all night
I might reach water,

but only if I
keep my lead foot
pressed against
the accelerator
to reverse time.

Whitecaps remain
in their usual places,
oblivious to constraint.

Heavy chains
above the sand
bear metal black
and white signs.

Beach closed
until further notice.

Fish and gulls
laugh at what
passes for progress
in the deranged
human kingdom.

Even a toe
in the water carries
a heavy price:
stiff fine, or worse.

I stand alone
on the shoreline,
awaiting a signal
for safe re-entry:

but all the lifeguards
have left the beach empty
and returned to their homes
for eternal vacations.


Leah Mueller is an indie writer and spoken word performer from Bisbee, Arizona. She has published books with numerous small presses. Her most recent volumes, “Misguided Behavior, Tales of Poor Life Choices” (Czykmate Press), “Death and Heartbreak” (Weasel Press), and “Cocktails at Denny’s” (Alien Buddha Press) were released in 2019. Leah’s work appears in Blunderbuss, Citron Review, The Spectacle, Miracle Monocle, Outlook Springs, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, and other publications. She won honorable mention in the 2012 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry contest.

Bonnie Matthews Brock is a Florida-based photographer, as well as a school psychologist. Her images have been published in Ibbetson Street Press, The Somerville Times, and Oddball Magazine.