Back to Issue Thirteen.

lena’s summer house in rockport



On a thin protrusion of Massachusetts rock
surrounded on three sides by sea

down a U-shaped street abutting the beach

in a shingled house    among shingled houses
locked up for winter

chilly and silent except for the hum
of empty refrigerators

in a room at the end of the hall—Lena’s room—
we slept. By morning

we had set ourselves adrift

on a white raft    on a gray sea
the cold of which

was a fact that couldn’t touch us.

Our little raft

kept twirling and reversing   fore
and aft    above us a swaying

forest of masts
smooth as polished bone.


From somewhere along Route 127
Lena’s mother approached.

A neighbor had spotted our car.

Meanwhile    off the port bow    a buoy konged
and Lena     all skin

among scattered pillows
a valiant    amateur sailor

began the slow descent along my belly
into the sheets’ folds

where    nervous at first
she would soon taste the salt of the sea lapping

against the damp-dark hull of the boat.

Cassie Pruyn is a New Orleans-based poet born and raised in Portland, Maine. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her poems and reviews have appeared in or are forthcoming from AGNI Online, ENTROPY, The Normal School, 32 Poems, The Los Angeles Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and others. She is currently working on her first poetry collection, and also on a book-length narrative history of New Orleans’ Bayou St. John.

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