To speak of

by Colette Cosner

After Stephen Dunn’s “Routine Things Around the House”


Out on the sandbar
she announces her divorce.
I thought: now I’ll have a maritime poem.

That was unforgivable
yet I have since forgiven myself
as women blessed with actual friends

actually do. The trouble was he excelled
at fatherhood— shoulder rides, and saying no
so she didn’t have to.

We didn’t so much grow apart
as grow into our apartness. They’d argue
over the sleep machine:

white noise against desert winds,
rainforest against distant chimes.
He needed his ocean lapping

and she hated him for that.
The tide came in around us
while clam diggers beckoned our return.

I tell her how I used to dream
of two oceans slowly cloying
towards each other and me

out there on the fault line,
world’s last tightrope walker.
I tell her about the moon

so big there was almost no sky
to speak of. Yet speak of it we did
til our mouths filled up with sea.

Colette Cosner is a Seattle-based poet originally from Massachusetts. Her work can be found in Cathexis Northwest Press, Cascadia Rising Review, and Aurora: The Allegory Ridge Poetry Anthology.