Part 2: Plain Fish on White Plate

For weeks I shared my feelings, each letter
More revealing than the last, thoughts on
Windswept rocky shores realized, part of
Myself recorded, inscribed, pen and paper,
Sealed envelope, mailed to distant lover.
For too long, I had become self-isolated
Wanderer, life-hopes struggling ‘tween
Maine clouds, sea, and labours of island
Life, repairing family house and boats.

To those who know me, I am plain fish
On white plate, up before dawn, when tide
Is out, face and hands worn raw, hair wind-
Tangled, woman incapable of love, much
Less sex, pale skeleton mirror-appearing,
Sentiments by candlelight letter written,
Mail-dispatched, driftwood washed upon
Mainland shores, collected unopened
On your fireplace mantel.

Did you know my far-distant friend, I have
Been chastised if not shunned for naked
Cold bathing at ocean’s edge? (When I say
“far-distant,” I mean emotionally isolated
From everyone.) If you decide not to write,
As I fear you may, I have my work, hammer
And nails, boat scraping, wire brush wood
Exposing, dripping paint bucket, practical
Though unartful occupation.  

This morning, I startled awake, strange
Dreams, ate my last orange, thick peel
Separating, fingers sticky, citrus scented,
Each segment lip-dripping. With each bite,
Bare feet on wood floor, I fanaticized of
Kissing you, my island love, romance,
Together on secluded shores. Who would
Be first to undress, slip naked into salty
seas? Would you rub lotion on my bony
back? I hope that you would.

What causes Emily’s suffering, naivete of heart or something
deeper, more troubling? Thanks for reading.

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