If the ocean had a mouth
I'd lean close, my ear to her whisper and roar, her tongue scattered with stars. She'd belt her brassy voice over the waves' backbeat. No one sings better than her. Would she ever bite the inside of her cheek? Would she yell at the moon to quit tugging at her hem, or would she whistle, drop her blue dress and shimmy through space to cleave to that shimmer? What did she mean to say that morning she spit out the emaciated whale wearing a net for a corset? All this emptying on the sand. Eyeless shrimp. Oiled pelicans. Within her jaws the coral forests, glittering fish, waves like teeth, her hungry mortal brine.
About this Poem
"As an underwater photographer one of the things I love most about being in the ocean is interacting with a world that has nothing to do with me, a world with its own passions, social structures, dangers. The awareness that we humans are harming that world is always with me so I wondered what the ocean might say if given a chance."
Marie-Elizabeth Mali is the author of Steady, My Gaze (Tebot Bach, 2011). She lives in Santa Monica, California.
Date Published: 2014-03-26
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/if-ocean-had-mouth