By Marie-Elizabeth Mali
Featured art: Eddystone Lighthouse by Mary Altha Nims
As if love were a lighthouse and I
the creaking rain-lashed vessel
heaving through the waves.
In the wheelhouse, a heart
that refuses to give up, despite
sharp coral under surface churn
waiting to turn the boat
into a rusted hull the sun vermillions
each morning for photographers
who revel in the sea’s dominion.
I’m tired of chop but don’t remember
calm, the hatches battened down
so long they’re salted shut.
No, that’s not true. That’s someone
else’s story, not mine. I say,
for every hungry ghost in the hold,
ten thousand iron-spined sailors
with rope-calloused hands navigate
around the coral minefields, eyes
on the lighthouse, its revolving beam.
Marie-Elizabeth Mali is the author of Steady, My Gaze (Tebot Bach, 2011) and co-editor with Annie Finch of the anthology Villanelles (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets, 2012). Her work has appeared in Calyx, Poet Lore, and RATTLE, among others. She is also a Relationship Alchemist, Coach, and Speaker and can be found at http://relationshipalchemy.com for that work.
Originally published in NOR 22.