• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 08
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The Woman Who Kept the Sea Under her Hat

Her mind is soothed by its own rocking motion,
the constancy of shushing tide. She says nothing,

although at night she might cry a whale song,
emit the click of dolphin in echolocation.

She keeps it all inside, under her hat, so no-one
knows her memory is bleached coral,

or that so many different species of grief
have beached themselves inside her,

their bodies bloating into empty speech bubbles.
It's been so long since she forgot her own story,

she can't even remember the name for this vast
body of mystery she carries, or the boats

that bring strangers safely back to shore
when they've lost their oars, drifted too far.

Underneath her hat is a whole blue universe,
deep as meaning where people have been lost forever.

She uses their stiff little limbs as hat pins. Her eyes
are made of their grey skins, her smile - calm water.