Seascape with Sailor and Schooner on Fire, 1901, Helena Buskirk (Dutch, 1873 – 1928), Oil on canvas; 16 x 12 ½ in.
This is the memory of water, shined up,
a gutted pear. This is the spare room
of longing, where there is nothing
to be said for invasion. By storm,
by fire. Isn’t the everyday
A schooner overtakes
the northwest of the bay. As luck
defies the inner arm,
the flowers are cancelled.
By simple rotation, the earth stays
on its axis. Be the axis of a blade
of grass and you’ll be the axis of the world, though
from these heights
it’s more like binocular clangor.
I don’t remember
pulling the sea
out with my toe, yet these words
spark in my teeth. Someone sneezed
in another room. Someone sneezed
with something like joy.
Rebecca Liu’s poems can be found or are forthcoming in Boston Review, Gulf Coast, The Awl, and Apogee Journal. She was recently named a finalist for the 2015 PSA Chapbook Fellowship and the 2015 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Contest.