Sitting here, on this paint-peeling bench, with two squirmy kids eating sloppy cones, and three tethered dogs standing guard, waiting for my signal. I’m wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat, so I can be distracted without anyone knowing how I count the minutes. I am a time bomb. I feel myself ticking. Sneakered feet run over the lift bridge—a gold bell ringing the depth of the canal—I fell in long ago. When I stare at high water, my face isn’t there, shapeshifting in its murky surface. Somewhere, below—far, far away, I’m swimming under your camera’s constant radar.
M. J. Iuppa is the Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program and Lecturer in Creative Writing at St. John Fisher College, and since 2000 to present, is a part-time lecturer in Creative Writing at The College at Brockport. Since 1986, she has been a teaching artist, working with K-12 students in Rochester, NY, and the surrounding area. Most recently, she was awarded the New York State Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching, 2017. She has four full-length poetry collections, This Thirst (Kelsay Books, 2017), Small Worlds Floating (Cherry Grove Collections, 2016), Within Reach (Cherry Grove Collections, 2010) and Night Traveler (Foothills Publishing, 2003), and 5 chapbooks. She lives on a small farm in Hamlin, NY.