Phillip Hua © 2016 All Rights Reserved

From Glistening Sand My First Husband Rises

What the ocean proffers and hoards—
half-buried fragments of shells, the bird
tucked stiff in tangled seaweed,
its silence a song soft against
the surf’s steady pummel-roar
thundering whether the tide steals away
or gallops back like the horse that left
the beach pocked with moons we follow,
speaking of the man I married then.

Haze wraiths on the horizon.
His last days lift above the cliffs
ahead, the telling eased by two decades
and the lightest breeze from the north.

Describe sirens.
Explain how cold the house.

I recount winter, distance,
feel the past rub
like plates beneath the earth,
exposed only in close moments
with enough loft to release those years,
blue sky prying the clouds ajar
a mouth saying yes,
a premonition of direct sunlight.


Joannie Stangeland
Copyright © 2016  

Joannie Stangeland is the author of In Both Hands and Into the Rumored Spring, both published by Ravenna Press, plus two chapbooks and a pamphlet. Joannie’s poems have also appeared in Front Porch Journal, Off the Coast, RHINO, Santa Fe Literary Review, and other journals.

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