Only the Surface Breaks

By CALLY CONAN-DAVIES

 

Breaching beyond
the break wall, opening
the open sea like a long polished wound,
baffling the wind
with a force mustered from currents
where free is
two things—
unfathomable as the drowned book,
barnacled as if born and raised
between Aphrodite and the devil’s thumb

a whale heaves out a whale-tail
flaunting sunken love at the sunned earth

old whale, salt drunk, rolling like a swell
on the sea-surface, unsalvageable as a sheet of rain
bent like an anchor, bending like a wave

and when the sky sets pink on the hills
and we turn back to our coverings of light

what deep waters want
is a whale

the ur-face of the overwhelming
awful whale dark
water we all come down to

 

 

Cally Conan-Davies lives by the Southern Ocean on the island of Tasmania. Her poems have appeared in periodicals such as The Hudson Review, Subtropics, Poetry, Quadrant, The New Criterion, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Sewanee Review, Southwest Review, The Dark Horse, and Harvard Review, as well as a variety of online journals.

[Purchase Issue 17 here.]

Only the Surface Breaks

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