by Stephanie K. Merrill
I am keeping faith in seaweed now the kelp, the dulse, the nori, the alaria manifesting salt from the sea for this salt of the earth flesh this ocean this deep dive of cells. I am eating billions of years backwards. Everything in the sea is the sea. Everything in the body is the body opening doors to all that roars in the waves in the healings in this sudden archive of grief in these carnival days in these carnival names in these carnival stalls called loss. Every night now I dine with the porpoises, with the turtles, with the manatees among tender curtains swaying just below high-water mark these oxygen-chanting relics from the seed millennia this fresh home with all its ancestral essential hopefulness. ____
Stephanie K. Merrill has poems published in The Rise Up Review, Blue Heron Review, Sage Cigarettes Magazine, Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art, and elsewhere. She has work forthcoming in the June 2021 issue of UCity Review. Stephanie K. Merrill is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a retired high school English teacher. She lives in Austin, Texas.