Emma Barnes

The Sea

I have decided to become
something new,
perhaps appalling,
so that the space I once occupied
remains only
foaming and blue.

I want to be put into a still
place, same as you—
only I want to be
without words in my mouth,
no longer doubtful,
my foreign hands
under the frothing surface;
raw as a consequence of
having to ask you to be
something more,
always more.

Between storms,
I float thinly on the surface,
reflecting on the parts
of me that have grown elsewhere.
With the tide in my teeth
I think carefully to myself,
how fearful you must have been
at my threat to open you.

This new fluidity of mine
strikes your feathered bones,
bends you into resistant shapes,
and I imagine that I do not respond
to your deliberate grief
as you watch me walk further,

descend into the parting waves.

Emma Barnes is a third-year undergraduate student studying English and Anthropology at the University of Maine. Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Emma learned to cherish poetry from the passion and work of mother and oldest sister. As she works towards completing and publishing her first chapbook, Emma hopes to earn her Bachelors degree in 2019, and to continue on her path towards earning her Ph.D in English.