Al Ortolani, 7/12

Dear Badass,


On the field trip to Cold

Harbor, classmates loved

how you slipped away

from old lady Murphy’s

field trip. You rowed

the stolen boat out to

the sandbar, skulled

to the whale’s eye,

then, with oars locked, you

posed as if fishing,

catching the great joke

of the semester. The boat

rocked in the beached


wake, a dying

flotsam in the ebbing

of the bay. Each time

the tail crashed, the boat

spun. You grabbed the

gunnels, belly laughing

like nothing mattered.

Sincerely, Un-





Al Ortolani is a teacher from Kansas. His writing has appeared in a number of periodicals, across the United States: New Letters, New York Quarterly, The English Journal, The Midwest Quarterly and others. He has three books of poetry, The Last Hippie of Camp 50 and Finding the Edge, published by Woodley Press at Washburn University, and Wren’s House, recently released from Coal City Review Press in Lawrence, Kansas. He is active with the Kansas City Writer’s Place and an editor with The Little Balkans Review.

Promote. Poetry.
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