Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Goddess of the Sea

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Goddess of the Sea

Article excerpt

The waters of the Atlantic are gray against ashen sky

and tumultuous waves crash against the rocking,

white boat. Three men throw in a net and haul it out

and it's full of jellyfish as big as basketballs,

their translucent flesh like dirty windows

to a hidden world of water.

I swam in those waters, taste of salt on lips,

water murky as I moved toward the pier where

old men fished for the lionfish

that sting and eat the fish of the reef, their yellow

and black bodies like yellow jackets of the sea.

I too do not belong here.

I am the stepmother of water, hiding the princess in the attic.

I am the love relinquished to empty wombs.

I bleed no more.

The bloom of jellyfish is thrown back into the ocean,

fetus-like, white against gray water,

and the lionfish sting the parrotfish and grouper.

My flesh remains unharmed in these waters,

yet I must return to the beach

where my children build sandcastles.

I am the princess in the attic.

I am the future royalty my children relinquish at my deathbed.

I will marry the shadows.

This time I will not swim along the shore

but out into the depths, my arms like tentacles,

pushing the water behind me. …

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