Poem: Parting the Red Sea

By: Rachel Schmieder-Gropen


torn loose.
Feet slipping
over sharp stones.
Frozen seaweed hanging
heavy in my nose. Sea-road,
cave-dark, flashing with the firefly
lights of fish scales and torches burning low.
Behind me, fire, violence, cries; above me, still
saltwater walls hung on Heaven’s invisible hooks,
bulging inward to accommodate a whale, its slow black bulk,
and now the water is lapping at my ankles, the shore approaching,
the blue waves rising up and up and roaring, and roaring in my ears:

My lover swept
onto a rock thrusting
from the sea, the last,
loose tooth in black gums.

I am safe on shore, the surf still beating its wild rhythms
in my ears, my clothes already stiff with salt and sun.
Too far away for the eye to see, she is safe, too, stranded
in the middle of the sea, crying out
for me.

Categories: Poetry

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