Human Grease

Sarah McCann


Smoker fingers smear
char-glared
coal-stricken
ringlets into the wreathing
water of the “Please Touch” pool.

They carve grease-ears down
to tenderly pet the live-glide
of an anemone, the cat-tongue
coat of a starfish.  A swirl of virus.

And perfume, an opaline milk puddle
and gasoline.  The jellyfish becomes
the water, and the people look how grey.


Sarah McCann has been a Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and has worked around the world. She has been published and has work forthcoming in such journals as The Bennington Review, Margie, The Broken Bridge Review, Midway Journal, The South Dakota Review and Hanging Loose. Her poetry has also appeared in Thom Tammaro’s anthology, Visiting Frost: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Robert Frost and an anthology from the Academy of American Poets, New Voices. Her translations from the Modern Greek into English have been recognized by the Fulbright Foundation with a grant and published in such anthologies and journals as Austerity Measures, Words Without Borders, Poetry International, and World Literature Today. She has also had the pleasure to edit a collection of poetry from the late American poet Robert Lax, Tertium Quid, and a book of her translations of the Greek poet Maria Laina was recently published by World Poetry Books.