“I think the sea is a useless teacher”

Marie Howe, From Nowhere


How I looked

to your eyes like they

were nothing but waves

and all I learned from the sea

is that it took the sand and never

spoke what it wanted and when we needed

cool it was cool and when we needed hot it was only

a radio signal from over the sound, coming in weak from Long

Island and when you needed hot you looked into my eyes and said Love,

your name is darkness and I said that is not my name, that is the name of

my teacher, the sea, or a fisherman wishing into waves all night with his wife

keeping the light on then off and all he or I ever got from the sea was a vocabulary

that the newspapers say grows less and less every day


First published in Beat The Dust’s ‘American Indy All-Stars’ edition 2011.