Poetry / Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

A baptism of the body is not enough.
I want to uncover all your secrets.

I pry open the horizon’s dark shell
to spill on your face the lunar light.

Arc of jaw, slender clavicle ridge. Lace slips
from slope of shoulder, confessing skin.

Virginal currents pool at your feet,
embroidered with undertow, hemmed in foam,

now periwinkle, now porcelain, all opalescent.
I cannot help but break into song.

Do not be startled by the devotion in my voice.
Ocean, when you raise the gold of your gaze,

do not turn away, concealing the evening pearl,
drawing the sea back up to your throat.

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox, which won the 2015 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry (forthcoming 2016), and Last Train to the Midnight Market (2013), and has received poetry fellowships from Kundiman and the Knight Foundation, among others. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets 2015, Columbia: A Journal of Literature & Art, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, Narrative, and more. She serves as co-founding editor for Print-Oriented Bastards and producer for The Working Poet Radio Show.