Charles Farrell   © 2010 All Rights Reserved

Thalassophobia

The word for "sea" or "ocean" derives from the character for "mother" with on top, the character for "always" and, beside it, the one for "liquid."

                  Edoardo Fazzioli, Chinese Calligraphy (trans. Geoffrey Culverwell)


  i.

It rains, and by extension,
the hair around the face grows dimmer.

For eight months, this second
heartbeat in the womb. Then itís gone,
like a pen. I think
the woman must be real.

In the language of sailors,
ocean is another word for arrhythmia.



  ii.

I had a dream: I was breathing.

 

  iii.

Lightning always
leads down to water. No lonelier
than brine as it enters
the mouth and becomes a taste.

Clouds spin over the waves:
a drink as deep as birds.

 

   iv.

As if I were nothing.

I sleepwalked
the blood from my mother.

 

  v.

Here comes the swallow.
The ocean is a constant reminder
to itself that it cannot die.

This small boat, like a hip bone,
vanishing in the ocean.

 

Arlene Ang
Copyright © 2010  

Arlene Ang lives in Spinea, Italy, where she serves as staff editor for the Pedestal Magazine and Press 1. Her latest poetry collection, Seeing Birds in Church is a Kind of Adieu, was recently published by Cinnamon Press.


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