Rebecca Jamieson


The sea talked to itself
all night, gray and full
the dying bees swept out
by sunrise.

Landlubber, auburn-haired wonder
bundled in wool. Tide me over till
I can be here again -- the sea, my friend
the sea, my death.

Fishermen wander, poles
outstretched, noses
to the wind. Even the battered
screamers the seagulls flock
with each other.

The sea takes melancholy, gives back
driftwood, a tired bottle, worn
to a new thing, mute by its journey.
It no longer belongs to us, refuses
to tell us what it has seen.

I saw the sea first
when I was sixteen, fair-haired
doldrums still clutching
my painted boat. Toenails the blue
of mermaids, heart already broken
by a hundred tiny things.

The sea is too big to be lost next to.
It will swallow me, keep me in its belly
to polish till I'm dead
till its dreams become mine and I am as alone
as a sand dollar, a great white shark
a drowned man -- so full he has nothing to say.

Rebecca Jamieson grew up in the Driftless region of Wisconsin and moved to Portland, Oregon in her mid-twenties. Her poetry and lyric essay have been published in &review, re(evolve), Cup of Poems, and The Wisconsin PoetsŐ Calendar.

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