HOW WE CROSSED THE OCEAN
You were the whale in whose belly
I hid. It was crazy, I know, to be
so far out at sea and being with you
was still a kind of drowning.
I knew your ribcage better than my own
but recognised the huge hollow beneath.
We were both pretending there was a way
out of this mess. Some higher power
like Love or Myth-making.
Really it was just my knife finding
its way through your blubber. You
gasping for air on the beach.
Stitchwort darns the holes in the hedge.
Lords-and-Ladies hide their poison
under the cover of green. They’ll redden
our hungry mouths later.
Listen to the forgotten people
homed outside your ken and tended
I collect their dandelion seeds
scatter them in my lawn.
A slow worm battles with a magpie
as loosened fluff drifts into another year.
I’m fighting forgetfulness and fear.
I send my children out to collect
bitter leaves, mix them
with peppery nasturtium flowers,
sweet olive oil from a grove
across the sea.
We’re all exotic and common.
Our future is as delicate
and feral as ground wasps,
our thread-waisted hearts
Hannah LINDEN has published widely, including or upcoming works in Atrium, Lighthouse, Magma, New Welsh Review, Prole, Proletarian Poetry, Stand, The Interpreters’ House, Under the Radar and the 84 Anthology, et cetera. She is working towards her first collection, WOLF DAUGHTER which explores the impact of and recovery of children from parental suicide.
Anthony HERNANDEZ, ‘Beach’
© Anthony Hernandez