I’ve hesitated beside the jewelweed, deep in the sevenbark,
told them I will not, not again—
What sovereign lies? What queen in her epistolary cage?
An ochre shotglass empties,
a lantern, unlit, heedlessly shines.
In vain I have opened mirrors & edges of mirrors.
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Already my daughter’s looks
are something to bear.
Gold hair heavy
on her small shoulders.
Eyes big as burdens.
She can’t escape
people looking at her,
so lets bangs grow
over her face
like thick curtains
Once, on the street,
a man touched
the glowing tip
of his cigarette
right to the center
of her forehead.
A crazy man, you say.
But I know
it was beauty
leaving its hot kiss.
-Francesca Bell, Blue Lyra Review
My son sleeps
the way a boat
ropes thrown back
on deck, and the soft hands
of the water all around.
-Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco, Star 82 Review
Little just-begun, dough rising,
sparrow northward, kicker south.
Lentil to grapefruit, you sleep-step sidewise,
turnover, pop-up, tongue in the mouth.
-Rachel Richardson, Cellpoems
“I am saltwater and undercurrents
and not nearly oceanic enough.
I break on these cliff-faces like waves
but I bend where the water would roar.
If I have a daughter I will tell her
to look past the role models presented
by society and take the sea into
her small round fists.
I will take her to the beach and show her
the depths and I will say, learn
to be unafraid like this. Be
what your mother could not.
Give support to the boats that will come
but have always the storm coiled
in your stomach. Show the endless
stretch of your carelessness to those
who are careless with you.
Seawater baby, sleep dreaming
of the Atlantic swell. Be the lapping waves
and the Great White Shark beneath them.
When you are hurt cry yourself
back into your skin. May the saltwater
always replenish your self-belief;
know that your landlocked mother
will always have arms to fit you into.
my daughter the sea | elisabeth hewer