Published on Academy of American Poets (

I Have Been Living

I have been living
closer to the ocean than I thought--
in a rocky cove thick with seaweed.

It pulls me down when I go wading.
Sometimes, to get back to land
takes everything that I have in me. 

Sometimes, to get back to land
is the worst thing a person can do. 
Meanwhile, we are dreaming: 

The body is innocent.
She has never hurt me.
What we love flutters in us. 


From House of Poured Out Waters by Jane Mead. Copyright © 2000 by Jane Mead. Used with permission of the author and the University of Illinois Press. All rights reserved.


Jane Mead

Jane Mead is the author of several poetry collections, including World of Made and Unmade (Alice James Books, 2016), which was longlisted for the National Book Award.

Date Published: 2000-01-01

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