September Poetry: "A Sea Odyssey" by Patricia J. Miranda

September 6, 2017

Image credit: Aimanness Photography via Flickr

Our September featured poem, Patricia J. Miranda’s “A Sea Odyssey,” recreates the frustrations and noise of a fractured relationship through the bewitching context of an underwater catastrophe. The poem artfully controls its speed and tension as its physical form mimics the downward motion of the “you” who “plummeted / ninety, / a hundred feet.” The poem then stabilizes in a boxed stanza that enacts the “cage [that] rose up about you” before following the journey of the “I” “forward / metal by meter / with new songs / clanging” and ending with a cliffhanger heightened by a notably missing final period.

—Eugenia Leigh, Poetry Editor

A Sea Odyssey

I hate to break this news. Something
and you plummeted
a hundred feet
down this technicolor silo
and crashed
into your seat at the control panel.
            You did not reach for the Start button.
But the radio came on anyway:
Duran Duran and Wham!
shrapnel of tunes
we used to listen to.

That's  when  the  water   began   to  rise
short-circuiting our  wires  fizt  fizt   fizt.
Submerged,  you  slept  deep,  a  beauty.
Eventually,  a  cage  rose  up  about  you,
as the story goes.  It took me a long time
to  drift  toward  you  and  a  longer time
to   learn   that  steel   holds  underwater
longer  than  you  ever  did  to   anything.
It's only when I begin to  sing  blub  blub         

blub, my tears redundant, I know,
in this saltwater world
that enough bars dissolve
            to give me clearance
and I—
a brackish wreck
a pressure rushing
metal by meter
with new songs
in the hollow
of my chest—
for the impact


Patricia Jacaban Miranda

Patricia Jacaban Miranda's poems have been featured or are forthcoming in aptBop Dead CityDASHFrontier PoetryHeron TreeInto the VoidKitaabMount HopeRise Up Review, and several other literary journals. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two children.