The Sea King (Or: If I’m the Sea, You’re Neptune)


By Sarah Lavelle

When I was four, the sea claimed me.
A sly undertow and a rogue wave assailed
my frail legs, and I went under.
I surfaced not fifteen seconds later
scarlet and sputtering, streaming sea water
from eyes, ears, and mouth.
My father pronounced me unharmed,
but I had glimpsed you in the deep,
and considered myself marked.
I have dreamed of you, Sea King, ever since.
I’ve known eight men, my body
seeking a floating, a drowning,
an earthen version of you.
Each tryst ended with that feeling
when you call to a friend on the street
and realize it was a stranger all along.
“Stupid, it wasn’t him. It wasn’t him at all.”
Imagine my surprise at glimpsing you again,
twenty years later,
safe on dry land.
Just milling around, as if your Atlantis-old soul was
merely mortal.

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