That summer I put down my last drug, I stood
on my board & paddled around the tide pools
at Short Beach, above the hermit crabs
scuttling over purple rocks looking for new
homes & below planes landing, coming
back, so low I could see their metal bellies.
I cut through the hot solstice air, my balance
steady enough I could look over my shoulder,
back to the beach: kids, some crying, a small dog
chased a gull fat with fried food, & I think now
I was happy, or if not happy, nothing fed this low-
tide heart of mine. I remember it was mid-
year & I had yet to give back even an inch of light.
Jennifer Martelli is the author of My Tarantella (forthcoming, Bordighera Press), as well as the chapbook, After Bird (Grey Book Press, winner of the open reading, 2016). Her work has appeared or will appear in Verse Daily, The Sonora Review, Iron Horse Review (winner, Photo Finish contest), The Sycamore Review, Sugar House, Superstition Review, Thrush, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal. Her prose and artwork have been published in Five-2-One, The Baltimore Review, and Green Mountains Review. Jennifer Martelli has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net Prizes and is the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry. She is a poetry editor for The Mom Egg Review.
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