Coastal Poems

TWO POEMS by Caroline Klocksiem

At first the waves

Morning. Blood
I did not want
to tell you about.

My god
this heat. Your family.
And we are not
even allowed

at the gulf right now
maybe years from now
even though it swings
itself towards us. Once
a baby

hound with a punctured throat
followed me to the door
asked me to let it
live and I did. At first

the waves were white, then rust.
Remember before
they were the color
of the inside
of our bodies?

~~~~~~~~~~

There are stars entirely woven

From wing-fins of infant fish, from swept
and fallen palm fronds. There are stars from unbought

dresses slashed into strips and piled by the gutter, just so
you won’t be able to wear them. The little girls’ star-

fish barrette flames in tattered sand
by the shore. There are stars of the discarded. There

are stars we discard and they sharpen
themselves like darkening stems of roses

clipped to the quick. How they tumble
over, honing each other. The stars

they sharpen and the stars they sharpen
into. The news all the while goes on. All

the while, there are stars of the discarded and there
are stars woven entirely of accident—

The red ocean puts on a gown of fire we made for it.

Its gathering folds: the way a man’s eye can’t help
but consume light from the redhead’s waves

as she passes. There are stars that transmit, slick
and voracious. Foam overhead like the kiss

of a sea storm. These are everything fires, voluptuous.
Stars that unravel the water. That rapture. Whatever

does not fit we’ve slipped into
the future. The dragon red waits there

with fury and with the lights that were never
ours snarled between her teeth.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Caroline Klocksiem’s poems have recently appeared in H_NGM_N, Wicked
Alice
, and Tar River Poetry. She’s a graduate of Arizona State
University’s MFA program, a Massachusetts Cultural Council fellowship
recipient, and co-poetry editor for 42opus. She lives in Alabama.

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