Over the Waves

Cars pass and light up the wall,
casting spotlights that intertwine,

illuminating dancers in a music box
who turn away from each other

to find themselves, as if before a duel.
In this apparition, it’s necessary for one

to leave in order for the other to remain,
or both would be lost:  there

are certain truths, even when no one
wants to listen. So you must listen

more intently, in the way you looked
at the sky at fifteen, looking for what

belonged to you. Listen
to the circus music that burns from braille

where a finger is a little hammer 
branding your surrender

to “Sobre las Olas,” to the waltz
by which so many have moved

through the air, bullets of exaltation,
to that which cannot happen, but is here.


Nicole Greaves holds an MFA from Columbia University and an M.Ed. in special education. Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary reviews and was awarded prizes by The Academy of American Poets and the Leeway Foundation of Philadelphia. She was a 2015 finalist for the Coniston Prize of Radar Poetry, who also nominated her for The Best of the Net. She was a 2020 finalist for the Frontier Digital Chapbook Contest and the Dogfish Head Poetry Contest. Nicole is a former poet laureate of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and lives right outside Philadelphia, where she teaches English and creative writing at The Crefeld School. 

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