by Jean Valentine

Now a year after your death, fish-mother, skate,
you swim up off the surface of the earth:
your other-worldly face
not saying anything
face I can never meet
inside the inside face
not since the land came wet
out of the water, face
under all the pieces of light,
how could I get to you?
Never leave you. Please you!
Teacher, spine in my spine:
the spelling of the world
kneels down before the skate.

Door in the Mountain: New & Collected Poems

Last updated March 18, 2023