Inside Passage

By RACHEL MORGENSTERN-CLARREN

 

Like the forearms
of the fishermen,

Each docked boat
is tattooed across its bow:

Cinnamon GirlHazel B,
Lady Lou, Miner’s Debt.

Low mountains
encircle the marina, the rock

And snow of each peak
patched like molting caribou.

The sky dark
and still, clouds hitched

To the waning moon.
A net and diesel canister

Tangle in the surf,
rosemaled waves

Slapping the hull. Only
cannery lights at this hour—

Gilding barnacles,
mussels, your profile

As you turn
slowly in from the wind.

 

Rachel Morgenstern-Clarren is an MFA candidate in poetry and literary translation at Columbia University. The recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and a Hopwood Award, her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Two Lines and Asymptote.

Inside Passage

Related Posts

Cover of The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

Friday Reads: May 2022

ELLY HONG
Issue 23 of The Common features work by a wide array of writers from across the globe. Take a look at some of the writing that has inspired them in this month’s round of Friday Reads.

A tree growing in a bucket. Twisted branches spiral upward from the large green basin the tree sits in. It's a sunny day in the woods.

Ugly Trees

HEATHER E. GOODMAN
We have a really ugly sugar maple in our front yard. Yard is a euphemism for dirt and weeds. Dirt is a euphemism for clay and rocks. Weeds is a euphemism for invasive species and exhaustion. But we love this ugly tree.

Signage in New York City at night. A lit vertical sign reads BROOKLYN, above a movie theater sign and a colorful sign for an ice cream parlor.

After Darkness, a Neighbor Turns the Lights On

HANNAH JANSEN
Not so much that the darkness disappears / but that after linked, round globes appear / on a humdrum weeknight under the trees, / I start noticing them everywhere, / glowing in their various iterations