September/October 2011

Photograph by Daniel Shea, "Bill Jones Camping on the Ohio"
Purchase

A Great Divide

Soon enough and just as easily
this beachfront home will wriggle
and crack, the ocean lifting

us, like abandoned ships,
back out to the sea.
Roped by soaked sand,

crossing that great waist of the world,
will the hurling comfort?
I was never unafraid,

even at sun-up.
Battened down, it turns out
the hatches were only plywood.

My insular Tahiti was sinking.
Someone lit a match
and the universe exploded.

Deck smashed and windows
wracked by reef,
mouthy winters survived,

some species perch atop a pedestal,
water foaming at the lips.
Some are spun around

and never come up again.

C. J. Sage edits The National Poetry Review. Her most recent book is The San Simeon Zebras, published by Salmon Poetry.