When the ocean tumbled from heaven,

was turned to salt for looking back,
I knew that worms taught humans
how to stand. I sought an empty

room where nobody could watch

me. I dreamed mermaids, white
gowns dancing in seaweed, traced
fishnet where light from dead stars

could not touch. My bride, queen

of water, wearing a tiara of curled
fingers in your coal-black hair, each
strand a daughter of the night I swim

to wake from, the most beautiful

thing I fear, an ocean without bottom,
a river without a bed. When we walked
through the garden together, your hands

tender as fresh basil, we should have talked

about seasons but didn’t, should have kissed
sunflowers before birds pecked the eyes
from their crowns, before I knew the sea god

could die and did, drowned in ink, his cries
lost on the ears of a deaf, apathetic sky.

Blue Earth Review, 2011


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