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
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
a brackish wreck
a pressure rushing
metal by meter
with new songs
in the hollow
of my chest—
for the impact