Two Poems by Seán Griffin

A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow
for Makoto Hagino

take index and middle fingertips, bring each
to either end of your lips,
and lift. That weight is why it’s
exhausting to flex our faces, fake it till

we grin and wear our smiles like heavy
coats in summer. A swimmer sunk, tired
from wind-milling their arms and envious
of the coral for its stillness. Don’t tap

on the glass of this aquarium with finger
tip to stir up the inhabitants. To see the lone
clouded salamander, whose round cheeks
just happen to make it look like it’s smiling.


Bloom into You
for Nakatani Nio

Sepal wrapped petals twisted closed like drill tip, pointed
groundward not yet to show
which of the many bi-colors my love will be. I’ve been holding
my blossom closed even though
sun’s warmth and sluice rush of rain flow are telling me
to change. Previously, I know,
each bloom has died from fatiguing autumnal fade to late
frost midnight bites in mid-May, yet grows
again and again and each tiring again. It’s so that I can only
guess how long before the slow
wilt. Yet bud lips will part past the seams of my fingers,
my nature stronger than my hands. The glow
of my little fire, my flower, can be shielded but it’ll go
out all the same.


Seán Griffin received an MFA in Creative Writing from Manhattanville College. Seán’s writing has appeared in The Southampton Review, Selcouth Station Press, Impossible Archetype, Dust Poetry Magazine, Non.Plus Lit, Sonic Boom, and elsewhere, with poetry in The Mud Season Review, Mineral Lit Magazine, and The Hellebore forthcoming. Seán teaches writing at Concordia College of New York, is an editor for Inkwell Literary Journal, and lives in New York with three dogs. Twitter and Instagram @seangrifter

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