POEM OF THE WEEK: Jessica Guzman Alderman



Jessica Guzman Alderman




                                Walt Disney World Resort


As fungus juts, as earthworms purse


between grasses, orange obscures

the animatronic toucan’s rust—

head tilt, beak nip, wing stretching


fissures in a spider web


& the tangled corn dog crumb. Roped off

we wait for the parade’s first purr, fans

masking our sweat. Like algae on a river,


everything gradual we notice


at once: the service dog’s bark,

the fire flower’s silver burst & contrails

conspiring against dusk. How must


the water moccasins watch


the gorillas sleep in their makeshift

jungles, the boy splash

on the makeshift beach, the alligator


reach for his knees. The snapping


guitar marks the beat, as our sneakers

like shadow puppets

in the gift shop window swagger


with the mechanical beak.



Jessica Guzman Ahattiesburg-7-15_1 (1)lderman is a Cuban-American writer from southwest Florida. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Ecotone, Copper Nickel, American Literary Review, Passages North, Sycamore Review, and elsewhere. A doctoral student at the University of Southern Mississippi, she reads for .


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