Carrying Water by Mike Bagwell

Carrying Water

The year of the sheep got lost in an airport
and just bounced from shoulder to shoulder.
The crowds left blurred vapor trails of themselves
and the whole place swirled in light browns
and the faded azure of jeans.
Everywhere I went crows called
themselves Adam, crawling
out of pitch-black pools and drying off their feathers.
I never quite grasped the significance of this,
no matter how many times they demanded
I pull out one of their ribs.
ā€œIā€™m not God,ā€ I told them, even though
I was having clear, frictionless thoughts.
At 1 p.m., a sheep becomes insecure about
anything with the color purple.
Suitable gifts:
bathrobe, broach, peppermint oil, seashells,
massage, theater tickets.
Maybe the soul is joined to the body by deep pits of water:
you pull feathers out of your mouth
and walk around a crowded airport.
Instead of diving back in,
you just get comfortable.


Mike Bagwell is a writer and software engineer based in Philly. He received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence and his work appears or is forthcoming in trampset, Halfway Down the Stairs, HAD, BULL, Bodega, Whiskey Island, and others. Some editors have kindly nominated him for a Pushcart. He is the author of the chapbook A Collision of Soul in Midair (forthcoming from Bottlecap Press). He was the founding editor and designer of El Aleph Press and his work can be found at