gina marie bernard


i lie in bed reading Moby Dick.
through an open window, drafts of charmed

spindrift riffle pages buoyed in the space
between my breasts. i sail again

into dream—a nautilus surfing gray currents of time,
whose combers the Ancients coursed by star.

i plot loss—charted from kelp-choked depths
where she first swam from our firth,

and swept onto rocks once rolling molten
into thundering seas.

i’ve since tacked across worlds unharbored
and between the endless fetch of distant dawns,

certain only in the curved step of my saffron spine
tumbling through heavy surf.

gina marie bernard is a heavily tattooed transgender woman, retired roller derby vixen, and full-time high school English teacher. She lives in Bemidji, Minnesota. Her daughters, Maddie and Parker, own her heart. Her chapbook Naked, Getting Nuder was a finalist in the 2018-2019 Glass Chapbook series, and is under contract with Clare Songbirds Publishing House. Her chapbook i am this girl was a semifinalist for the 2018 Charlotte Mew Poetry Prize, and has been published by Headmistress Press. Her work has recently appeared in The Hunger, Waccamaw Journal, Anomaly, Riggwelter, and The Real Story.