Rose Hunter

Dec 31, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories

You As Sea Urchin

bottom feeder and bottom dweller
you were not interested in the surface
you were all surface, even as rusted anchor

corrosion: where two unlike objects meet

she means a water tank
and a page thirty-nine
stuck on it, as I am on your spines

or picturing you at your wedding
(they’re not going to show! -
if you hadn’t waited that extra minute…)

or leaning back to peel the card edge
(and only look once -
you can remember two cards, right?)

or how you tell me your feet can breathe
smashed clubs, on the glass

in front of which I am
kneeling; a kind of atonement

and confessional:
sometimes you walk on your teeth.

You As Fierce Inhabitant of Brackish Water

in the presence of decay makes
me think of your teeth and did you know I once
wanted to be a naturalist? And you
I asked, but your (sliding) answer didn’t
satisfy; what do crocodiles want?

Extinction events: your talk of all the people
who’ve died, your infernal last man crawling
a bite stronger than a shark, stronger by far
than a bear. Sluggish but when propelled
by the force of your peerless, surprise – like me

you can stomach stones: beyond your jeweled
hide, wattle bask and rivet, your grey
gradient, in the way of the slow then the quick
and ex cathedra ping-pong-ball-eyed joker

(so I’d know you were serious)
your ferocious life goes like that.
(A slip then the surface as before.)

“You As Fierce Inhabitant of Brackish Water” has previously appeared in Willows Wept Review (issue 12, Summer 2011).

Conchas Chinas

Our hinge ruptured now but still
for a time we were like seashells
I mean a bivalve mollusc
hemolymphed for a permanent low tide.

*******Remembering this

I wash the saucers first.
There is mould like drift ice
in our colours: that of the blood
bruise, the sunset and the smashed-up
eye. Then the plates,

the glasses, the cups, the
cutlery. After each taxonomy
a sink scrub and fresh crunching of
foam and bubbles to turn to
ditchwater again; a last
ditch attempt to make myself
******needed if not wanted,

more than the black bear
the runny egg, the crimson gutted
smashed-up mockup mollusc jungle
ends; his face, bilge water, as I
reach under, turning away, one
shoulder calling out to the other

how the pot that calls the bilge and the ditch
and the terracotta slaughter: kettle; and even
the saucers drying on the counter
a pale and Venetian, spring,
*******clink together what

mollusc I wanted to be, not a dead
floating in the water grasping
kettle seashells bilge
*******face it; over there;

what we once were hinges
black bear kettle saucer mollusc

so I tried to wipe that away also; had to?
The final stain?

It was red, and mine.

* Conchas Chinas, (literally, “Chinese seashells”); also a residential area south of Puerto Vallarta.

“Conchas Chinas” has previously appeared in to the river (Artistically Declined Press, 2010).


Links to Rose Hunter’s writing can be found at “Whoever Brought Me Here Will Have To Take Me Home.” Her book of poetry, to the river, was published in 2010 by Artistically Declined Press. Poems of hers have been published or are forthcoming in such places as DiagramPANKkill authorThe Nervous BreakdownanderboelimaeJukedThe Toronto QuarterlyBluestem, and others. She is the editor of the poetry journal YB, and lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Hibernal 2012, Littoral Currents

About the Editors

Casey R. Schulke grew up along the Kuskokwim River in a rural Athabascan village in Alaska fishing for king salmon and mushing her sled dog team. She now resides on the shores of Resurrection Bay in Seward, Alaska. Casey's a poet, a naturalist, a dog-lover, has two birds, and is married to a wonderful man.
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