For Edna

Poetry / Jacqueline Winter Thomas

An imperative, after waking gradually
A dream, walking in wheat fields,
              touching all waters—oak and hull

Then the world hangs in the hull of your white
dress, heavy with sand

In thought / the ocean
You walked / the infinite recesses

If the moon rotates copper and silver
again, you know:

              Your eyes are small suns affixed
              to the point of the farthest seeable

You will begin to forget that ever night was—
When you cried, if you cried
              it was the strange lilt of another voice

The years that are gone seem like dreams

Your marriage / small wood ship
Your life / blue glass bottle

In the barrel of the wave, some things shatter
In the ocean’s ache, some things turn
for years and return to shore, perfectly hardened

To be held in the palm of a hand

I imagine your pigeon house years later—
rotted cedar, and still, the small thread lines
on which you hung sea-flowers

              Someone will turn the spiral shells
              you left above the doorway into a necklace
              Someone will drink from your pitcher

I thought when you said algae you meant spaces
When you said seaweed you meant to be
and not be watched

But even then, there is something in us all
to be collected

              Who were you then? Before the waving grass /
the water lines / purple haze?

When the tide comes in, only the first drafts of sand
move to meet it

              Below: whole ecologies

Perhaps you dreamt them for years

Is this your longing—to step out, finally
into the water—to dissolve
                                              in all directions

Jacqueline Winter Thomas is a contributing editor at Eratio, a postmodern poetry and arts journal located in Brooklyn, and an MFA candidate in poetry at UNC Wilmington, where she teaches courses in writing and form. Her poems and papers have appeared and are forthcoming in BarrelhouseTinderbox, Open House, and TAB, among others. She is interested in the convergence of poststructural poetics and semiotics, and has attended the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University.