Dante's Water Park
— a poem by J. Alan Nelson

On a record hot day,
before we know the term global warming,
before Julia speaks English
I take her to the water park.
She floats the Lazy River
round and again.
Words of Russian glee gush
as we drift in dilated time,
scrummed tight with old grandparents
with young grandchildren.
The water holds shape
as a fixed wave of warm phlegm
compressed among the herd of worn bodies
that wander about the circle.
I abandon hope,
choose the conduit
with the most eye-popping graphics
bathe in the dark energy of life
enter Hell’s slick gate
into tautology
a fallen one
on a fallen world
rewarded like a saint
covered in holy spittle.

The Poet:  J. Alan Nelson is a writer and a lawyer.  He has essays, stories, epistles and poetry published or forthcoming in the following: Convergence, International Poetry Review, California Quarterly, Wisconsin Review, Illya’s Honey, Red River Review, Adirondack Review, Red Cedar Review, Identity Theory, Hawai’i Review, Kennesaw Review, Driftwood Review, Ken*Again, Haggard and Halloo, Review Americana, South Carolina Review, Pegasus Review, Red Cedar Review, Fulcrum, Connecticut River Review, Blue Fifth Review, Chiron Review, SNReview, American Scholar and Ship of Fools.

The Artist: Brett Stout is an artist and writer. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and Paramedic. He creates art while mainly hung-over from a small cramped apartment in Myrtle Beach, SC.