Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Surface-Dwelling” by Sierra July, a Songs of Eretz Frequent Contributor and this week’s Poet of the Week. A biography of the poet may be found in our “About Our Editor & Frequent Contributors” section.
Shivering warms my blood; a sight warms my spirit
An island, miles and miles off, a golden dot above blue
I swim, and swim, and sink, and swim.
Water becomes molasses, sticking to me, slowing me
But I churn with my spaghetti arms, aching for that
Island dot that manages to stay out of reach
Differentiating saltwater and sweat, impossible
My eyes blur, failing to make out blue and blue of sky and water,
Bronze of island or broken sun, so I can’t use them, so I swim
With eyes shut, churning, churning, hoping
My fingertips touch land, one day
Poet’s Notes: Here I wanted to capture the terror of disaster as well as a glimpse (or illusion) of hope. I like to think this person’s experience has a happy end.