Bright & Infinite
this evening you drive across the bridge tunnel like you have
your whole life, away from home or toward it, face hanging
out of the window like a dog lapping up air, your nose and cheeks
wet with tears. did you choose this water or did it choose you?
gulls swarm above the waves, dive bombing for bait. on your skin,
on the windows, their fevered pitch echoes. if it’s true this city
is sinking into a meteor’s crater formed some 35 million years
ago in the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, why don’t people
believe it more? instinct or foolishness, the gulls chase desire
to the death, to the point of being swallowed. you’re paralyzed
in front of photographs of blown off mountain tops, or people
up to their waists in water—an unthinkable, vanishing beauty.
you discover the word solastalgia, origins in solace and desolation,
in other words a deep sadness for a world irreversibly altered--
knowing your city ranks second only to New Orleans, two sea level
rise hotspots, you eye angry waves staining the legs of the bridge,
licking the concrete belly of the beast carrying you toward thunder-
storms. as a child you walked into the mouth of the ocean, swam
far enough out, your periphery—bright and infinite—kicking madly
against fear, against a giant body that could consume you--
Sarah McCall worked for many years as both English teacher and bartender, and is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at Old Dominion University. Her writing has appeared in several journals including Whurk, The Quotable, Barely South Review, and Jet Fuel Review. She and her husband and their two dogs live in Norfolk, VA.
The Ekphrastic Review
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