“Breathing Water”

Breathing Water

Each afternoon I walk through a wave
of trees. A tiny patch of the Tongass, a river
between condos, stores, a long rainy

street. Each day, I hope for a rain
of needles from the spruce, for a wave
of rich green scent to weave into the river

of my hair. I breathe in this river
of moss, and old man’s beard raining
from the ancient trees. I feel a building wave

of relief. I’m a wave, breaking fresh. A rainy river, brimming.

The Work of Water

I need a wave.
Water-soft, silk
stone of ocean, tossed up
rubbed shimmery,
full and sleek.

I step carefully on rocky
shore, searching—
there. I lift it. Cerulean
sea glass. One leaf
of ocean, in my palm.

Gathering the Sea

There is a tribe of us
who walk the beaches of the world

with our heads down
searching. Here, we bow

to pick up a sleek shell.
There! A curl of aqua glass,

a leaf of water cupped
in our palm. It can live now

on a windowsill, in a coat
pocket. How to explain this

longing? You can see us anywhere
there is a little strip of rock

or sand along the sea. We who
need to touchstone

the whole ocean
as we move through our days.

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