The Pacific, by Jennifer Gravley

I never put my body in you. I never let you
soak my hair like a grand burst of sweat.
I never tried and failed to put you in a box,
bicycle you home in a basket.
I never drank you down in desperation,
never brought home your salty crust in my elbows.
I never ruined my watch in you—
yes, time never stopped because of you.
I never fed your maw my dead babies
nor built them a home on stilts at your lip.
You were the black pit I paced the edge of,
the deep sweet suck I turned my back on
again and again.

***

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Jennifer Gravley is a writer of sentences, a watcher of bad television, and a reference and instruction librarian. She co-leads the Columbia, Missouri, chapter of Women Who Submit, an organization that seeks to empower women and non-binary writers by encouraging literary submissions. Her work has most recently appeared in Shirley, New Delta Review, and The Fourth River.

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