the selkie waits another night


at the crux of the dream the waters draw together
as a single gray hand, and inside that clutching
darkness some of us can breathe and others cannot.
when i wake, i tell you i don’t know my home. snow
is falling in breathless drifts over the hunting backs
of pine martens, and down at the shore the waves
are begging to freeze, are locking into each other
and breaking away again, are holding, holding,
and then letting go. i put my fingers in your mouth.
shadows jump from our bodies and chase each other
into the mounded ash of the fire, shapes that melt
and stretch, become something new. the silver moon
pulses through the gathered clouds, rivers of fish
that fall and break. you’ve never asked me to stay.
in the quiet i hear the future stealing inside the house
through gaps in the boards, a low rolling groan
like wolf-whales in their underseas dirge. i roll away
to feed the fire. all around me are familiar things:
tinderbox and hunting knife, kettle full of black air,
your dress on its hook like a shucked skin, still warm.

Maria Zoccola