Seas are Rising and You Texted Me the Sweetest Thing

by Grace Celi


The sun was warm and terrible—
too strong for mid-March.
I basked in it anyway, enamored

with the way it hit your clavicle
and just below. Daffodils sprung
up around us—I did not mention

their prematurity, but plucked one
and tucked it gently in the lip
of your jeans with eager fingers.

You kissed me, lips hot and wet
as the air. I marveled at your mouth—
tongue unfurling like daffodils

under the too-warm sun. Drooling
home, my bottom lip dragged
through puddles on the sidewalk—

ice thawed from this quickly waning
winter. After our first night, you left
in the cool dawn to work a fundraiser

for melting ice caps. I’ll think of you
only—your text read. I spent the day
imagining your fingers counting

guilty money—thin and long
as early orchid stems—and wished
they were somewhere warmer.

I dreamt of sweating beneath you—
your hands turning my body
to water like a five-fingered sun.


back to University & College Poetry Prizes