Ophelia Dreams of Sea Urchins

Forever wed to water, she drifts far
into ocean, fair creature of the deep.
Here, no harebell, cowslip, gillyvor,
no rosemary nor rue—but seahorses
curl tails less treacherously than twined
vines of nightshade, otters clutch spiny
prey with such innocence, they mother
their meal with lullabying. Mermaidlike,
she cleaves to blue, carves herself into
waves that wash memory away—
forgetting is one blessing of death’s
ongoing everness, to sleep unabashed—
here, the sting of brine, salt tangle of her hair,

whale song, rain’s drum, a difference of air.

Gillian Cummings is the author of My Dim Aviary, chosen as the winner of the 2015 Hudson Prize from Black Lawrence Press and forthcoming in November 2016. Her poems have appeared in Boulevard, the Crab Orchard Review, The Cream City Review, The Laurel Review, The Paris-American, and in other journals. She is also the author of three chapbooks, most recently Ophelia (dancing girl press, forthcoming 2016).