We took a house,
a beach spread
The seals gathered on rocks, made sounds
like sick I mean like saint like joy
Their skin slick with salt,
rot and body.
Here is the story:
the females shed
to become human.
When the man takes her skin,
she is subject
becomes his ---
but when the skin returns,
she returns to the sea, to her
That was what the neighbor told us
when his wife was gone. That she took her coat
and left. We imagined her
pulling the arms on, buttoning into herself,
the wool making her into a new self,
a going-home self, a woman who went back
to her mother.
A man left me it was a while ago and there
was a new gape where nothing had been before.
Listen - I am not calling myself
In the water I watched for him -
did the sad thing,
my body cold in the salt-float felt the seaweed tendril
brush my ankle how sweet to touch it how it touches me
A plate in the sink. A hook on the wall.
When I put on my coat - all
stillness. The ocean doesn't call.