KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Prose Poem: 134 words

That Couple with Their Heads Full of Clouds

by Kathleen McGookey

is sailing on stirred-up August water, more green than any shade of blue. She reclines on the seat, a rolled-up towel under her neck. When the boat tilts, she grabs the edge. He’s careful, usually, but wind’s capricious—rippling or dying, flapping the rainbow-striped sail. She closes her eyes. She doesn’t mention the child’s spider bite, new shoes, new notebooks, new blank forms, the lemon cake she’d like to make. Instead, she imagines clear bubbles in the sailboat’s wake, swirling before they dissolve. The water smacks its small mouths against the hull. They might hold hands, briefly, here inside the wind’s rush and lull, until he pulls the mainline in. What happens next is out of their control. Sometimes an eagle flies overhead. Sometimes, a gull.


—This prose poem was inspired by the title of a painting by Salvador Dalí (A Couple With Their Heads Full of Clouds); and is from a longer work, “August at Gun Lake,” which will appear in an anthology to be published by Wayne State University Press in late 2018.


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