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Maria Mitea Oct 2020
on a wild coast of melancholy

and poetic catabolism

wondering in your own shell

when the muse is journeying

to forbidden places

and the secrets hid deep in the clouds

keeping eyelashes like sneaky foxes

out of what has been lost

and out of what has been found

hot sun is freezing your poetry

in lost beams oysters marvel

at their own shines

until pearls are to be found

you keep on wondering
Lilli Sutton Apr 2019
Rolling down to Virginia
in a gray shuttle – the rain
cascades off the windows.
I close my eyes but I can’t sleep.
I don’t know anyone here
well enough to be that kind
of comfortable. We reach the bay bridge
but the fog is so thick it’s like we’re suspended,
or we never left the ground to begin with –
no water beneath this bridge.
It isn’t raining in Wachapreague,
for now, the wind is cold
and it blows the clouds away.
If I shield my eyes to the sun
I can see way out past the tidal creeks
and the salt grass – out to the Atlantic.
Later, rain comes in waves –
we cook dinner and joke about ghosts,
and I wonder how many of my own
I brought here with me.

What a privilege to own a boat –
to be your own captain, or even
just to know the waves. The sun is brilliant
but the wind burns cold – before the end
of the day, my nose and cheeks
are lobster-red. It’s so easy to get lost
in the tidal creeks – just acres and acres
of spartina, flat and brown now
but six feet tall in the summertime.
We dredge up creatures from the bottom –
***** and worms and sea slugs.
We eat lunch on a graveyard of shells –
I find the empty husks of horseshoe *****.
Eagles and oyster catchers watch us pass
sit tight on similar whitewashed mounds
of expired homes. The sun is low
when we reach the mudflats –
here the earth is shallow. Seven ways
to catch a clam, but I only know one –
to look for holes that bubble. I fill
my pockets with the dark misshapen
creatures. Sometimes the holes
rush full of water before I can even see
what I dug up. Soon the tide will come back
and swallow the wet sand again.
I want to stay put, watch the muddy water come
learn to filter through it
like the oysters and the clams.

Early morning on the bayside –
wind, more brutal than yesterday
beats the surface until the waves
are whitecaps, and the skiff pitches.
We go back to the tidal creeks,
where the trees block the wind
and the sun illuminates the muddy water.
We watch an osprey glide and dive for fish.
Back in the lab, isolated in white
I see strange animals. For hours
we look for answers to the simplest
of questions: what is this?
Some creatures we toss back
and some we wrap in clear plastic bags.

The long ride home –
half between sleeping and waking
drenched in sunlight. I’m small,
or trying to be – conserving space
wherever I can. I eat my fill of ginger snaps.
The bay bridge is crystal clear this morning
and it gives me a strange feeling, deep
in my stomach – somewhere between
excitement and dread, a fear
or a nod toward what’s coming –
a mystery, creeping in and unfurling
like when I was a kid, awake too late at night
feeling dumb, for hoping, for wanting,
and most of all, for not yet knowing.
Lilli Sutton Apr 2019
Fluorescent light flickering in the library
gives me a headache. I should read
but I’d rather let my head be empty.
We had a long conversation this morning,
and cried – she said, “yeah, you’re young”
and “yeah, your parents are getting older.”
Do all you can and hope for the best –
I keep feeling like I’ve walked off the bridge
inadequately prepared. Like I did that summer
in Ohio – we counted down, to keep each other honest.
Hit the cold brown water and came up gasping –
at least then I had a friend. Or the in between –
we could have been in love, two Octobers ago.
If I had opened my mouth sooner.
This morning I said “what should I do
when the one truth about myself
that I’ve always believed falls through?”
No easy answer – I’m just changing again,
shedding skin. Diana says “look at you –
doing everything I’ve always dreamed of.”
Only I don’t feel so lucky. I want to go back underground,
filter soil to the bottom of my tongue.
Stutter of a heart that’s half homesick, half escapist.
I haven’t even left yet, but an hour
isn’t enough time to spill out the last three weeks.
Like rallying the home team, everyone is wearing
my colors, except if I look too fast
it’s all just black and white.
b for short Apr 2016
This one is for the old souls—
for the minds sustained on stories
and the lips that speak only
in combinations of words dusted
with jaw-tingling purpose.
For those who can find salvation
in a good bass line
and the disciples of that
aww sookie sookie now
for the air guitarists
who will only ever make it big
going solo at a stoplight—
for the pairs of eyes
that can’t help but see things  
the way love is felt:
inexplicably with hungry fascination.
This one is for the old souls—
may the world always be
your zealous oyster,
producing enough pearls to fill
an Olympic-sized swimming pool,
and may you always be
brave enough to jump in
wearing only a smile.
© Bitsy Sanders, April 2016
Lysander Gray Sep 2015
Let me breathe the smoke between your thighs,
The way a drowning man breathes water -
my Queen of Oysters.

I will sup til hungers end
           the elixir
then sup, and sup again
the banquet of your flesh
with the thousand tongues
of my fingertips and eyes.

This Alligator that hides amongst daisies -
let him sleep in the black garden of your hair

           O concubine of Saturn

Open slow to the brush
rough hands spring petals
that gambol and gyre
in great prickles
the spine and scalp.

Let us run to the moon, together
or sleep til the noon, apart.

My Queen of Oysters,
Let me sleep in the black garden of night.
Anastasia Webb Apr 2014
I don’t want to write yet another poem about you
about your gorgeous words,
and how they trickle like honey down my neck.
about the sweet way you seem to like
to email me.
for no reason at all.
about your smile, your laugh
and the way they just suit your face
so well.
about the fact that you once surreptitiously
asked for my number.
about the way you under-state things.
about your eyes.
about the curves of your lips.
about your glasses
and braces.
it’s creepy.
i really need to stop writing
about you.

— The End —