Poetry, Mae Capaldi
You take me down to the slick smell of the shore
smooth stones cushion our pairs of bare feet, heels, and toes
as we walk to where the wet rocks’ nightsongs roar;
only here can we discover what no one knows.
Light of all lights, the humble moon rarefied
in the haze of the night, for the first time awake
pin-pricks in the blanket sky, stars call to be identified
so we sit and stare, as the waves rush out and break.
Some point to the stars - or cards - but Oh Great Seer
you can read the Earth’s fortune in the cracks clogged up
as you ponder and reveal all that is unclear
like the algae were tea leaves sitting at the bottom of my cup.
You point out the simplicity of a lake-shaped stone
and show just underfoot, all it takes is a slight bend
I start to see how much out of my skepticism I’ve grown
as I reach down and scoop the future into the palm of my hand.
Why couldn’t I place your eyes’ color?
Were they harsh blue as those cruel jays
that dove about the arbor?
Or devilish brown as cigar paper
with its candied, putrid odor?
Or absent green as my Grandma’s emerald ring
that was lost and never returned to her?
It’s because when you looked at me, I didn’t see the irises -
instead, the milky pool around them
pulled me inward - a bride’s hands
enveloped inside her silky muslin gloves
as she shuffles her feet outside the Church doors;
where she forever waits for belonging.
Mae Capaldi (she/her) is an aspiring artist studying Creative Writing and Music at Lawrence University. Her favorite authors include Anne Sexton, H.D., and Barbara Kingsolver, among others. She is inspired by gas stations at sunset, fireflies, lipstick prints, and her friends. Find her on Instagram - @maecapaldi.