Featured: Disturbance


Anders Villani

Into my new veal-skin Chelseas

I put my wallet, phone, and keys

to the flat, which was still bare.


I left them on the dock along with

my clothes and towel and a book of Mandelstam’s early poems

in English. Dove into the river.


When I got out, it was almost dark.

That par-dark seemed alloyed

to you. The water had risen nearer

the rim of the dock. Still, and warm.


Dozens of geese had gathered on the dock to roost.

I didn’t think I could be myself

without disturbing that mass repose


so I gathered my things

as quietly as I could, and moved to a nearby field.

Laid out my towel. Lay down.


I couldn’t be myself in the field either.

So I left my things where they were

and softly re-entered the river.


Anders Villani was born in Melbourne. He now lives in Ann Arbor, where he is a postgraduate fellow in the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. For his MFA thesis, he received the Delbanco Prize.