small thoughts on the sea


by Savannah Jensen


 

to know

my body: the perpetual scent of

gardenia, blood, the white sea;

 

to put

your tongue to my crevices

is to taste the imprint

 

of large bodies

 

heaving, dulling my nos

like water against hot sand.

 

i go to dark beaches

to occupy a space

 

where unfeeling is a thing

 

that floats in the ether

like a kite with the longest string––

 

blown about

by my desperate running

 

i tug and tug, but my hands

are just so small

 

my bones like driftwood,

too light to steady me.

 

i never learned

how to use my mouth

 

so i let my limbs be rearranged

in the empty space

 

traded one coast for another

 

but it’s just one more button,

discarded shirt, stranded bra

on the rug––

 

it’s a ‘smile’ and click

and i’m shuttered

on this balcony with its salted

air;

 

in another timeline i’d topple over

the railing

 

splinter at the edge of this cragged

canyon, just to escape

 

the man with the camera

and his oil-spill tongue.

 

i’m not pretty, i never was

but i wonder

 

if i will always see myself

as some small

 

shivering weed

 

at the edge of this coastal road,

plucked and preened

 

sun-spotted, that

bends away from the light

 

and open palms;

 

rather, i close like an eyelid

against the sun,

 

long days and things

 

close the soft center of my body

like a mollusk’s

 

against swooping gulls

and my own rotting flesh;

 

i cling here,

at the edge of this foaming water

 

tethered by my longing

 

for the bottom

of my own breath

 


Savannah Jensen is a poet and freelance writer from Sonoma County, California. She has a BA in English from UCLA and has work published in Pink Plastic House literary journal. When she’s not writing, she enjoys baking, making music, and photographing the people and places she loves.