I Don’t Want To Be The Only One Here

I don’t want to be the only one here
dreaming of a seal swimming
under my white sheets,
its blubbery body sliding over my breasts
while the rest of the book club sits in a sensible circle
discussing the book I haven’t read.

I don’t want to wake drenched
in the cold lake of my sweat, off to the bathroom,
where I stare at the back of a Kleenex box,
try to make as many words as I can from the letters
in mouchoirs…in any language I know:
muchos, coros, choroumany, choirs, cried.

I hear the entire chorus of the Messiah
sinking in the salt water of their own tears,
so that Hallelujah is a slur of garbled drowning scuba divers
like you, floating face down, your body
knocking against rocks at Lover’s Point.

Lover’s Point, the point where love
had no place on that January day,
where the benches memorialize those lost in 9/11 –
bodies sailing from burning towers holding hands –
signs of love flung from fire, so unlike
the lonely cold waves of the Pacific.

I don’t want to be the only one here seeing bloated wet blue.
Send me some warm dry lovers, luscious red lips kissing.



Ruth Mota lived in Brazil for a decade, then made a career as an international health trainer. She leads poetry circles with veterans and incarcerated men in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Her verse has been accepted for publication in the Monterey Poetry Review, Caesura print and on-line versions, the 2018 50/50 Anthology of Quillsedge Press, and won honorable mention in the Passager Books 2018 Poetry Prize Collection.




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