Published on Academy of American Poets (

Open Sea

He predicted froth, and geese
took to the sky like a hurricane.
I trust my captain. He told me
when I turn over on my stomach in sleep
to think of loneliness. I draw a circle
and put an X through it for here, meaning ship.
All I packed was an empty pillowcase and aspirin
and rain I collected. The geese turn their bodies
into clouds for me to pour the rain.
Nights I tuck my fingers into feathers
and repeat a song I was sung as a baby.


Copyright © 2018 Joanna I. Kaminsky. Reprinted with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Autumn 2018.


Joanna I. Kaminski

Joanna I. Kaminski received her MFA from Washington University in Saint Louis. She works at the University of Texas at Austin, where she lives.

Date Published: 2019-03-06

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