Justin Karcher Literature Poetry

Message in a Bottle

Justin Karcher


Sam, we have to clear our mental garbage.
It will take work to mend these holes. If we don’t,
We’ll end up marooned on the Great Pacific
Garbage Patch spanning waters from the West Coast
Of North America to Japan. Garbage is magnetic.
It flocks to other garbage, like blood.
The largest garbage patch in the world is the human heart.
Love works if you remember to embrace the garbage.
When you toss into the ocean a message in a bottle,
It doesn’t wash up on a distant shore, romantically.
It ends up in the world’s floating garbage patches,
Twice the size of Texas. Trash is whisked away
By the ocean currents, is taken to a garbage patch,
Like the ferryman leads the souls
Of the dead to Hades. All trash floats together
In the watery after-life. Blood cell fragments sticks together
To form clots. Sam, if only we were all so lucky!
To be like blood clots, drifting
Forever in the sea of time, coming together
To staunch the bleeding. Come on, Sam, road trip
Across my open wound. From Boston to the Mississippi,
A beautiful loop around the San Juan Mountains in Colorado.
Maybe we can get high with Bigfoot in Christmas Valley,
Share in his crypto-loneliness. Then, if we had enough,
You can stick me in a bottle and toss me into the ocean.

Justin KarcherJustin Karcher lives in Buffalo, NY. Recent works have appeared in Crab Fat Literary Magazine, Maudlin House, The Pickled Body, and 3:AM Magazine. He is the winner of Just Buffalo Literary Center’s 7th Annual Members’ Writing Contest & Reading. You can follow him on Twitter, @justin_karcher.