Once on a Ghost Ship [8]


It took weeks
of landbound pull and push
to construct and renovate, dissemble and redo. Now
my god, who except
the water itself
even knew how we were floating.
With the swell

of every whitecap I stumbled closer to her such that we
were inside each other by the time the storm passed.

These wild layers, our glorious monstrosity, her every loc
a nautical mile, my every curl an eddy.
Fish nibbled

along the bottom
of our ridiculous boat. We lay
on each other's chests and moved
our mouths like theirs.

Gemma Cooper-Novack’s debut poetry collection We Might As Well Be Underwater, a finalist for the Central New York Book Award, was published by Unsolicited Press in 2017. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in more than twenty journals, including Glass, Midway Journal, and Lambda’s Poetry Spotlight, and been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes and Best of the Net Awards. Her plays have been produced in Chicago, Boston, and New York. Gemma was a runner-up for the 2016 James Jones First Novel Fellowship; she has been awarded artist’s residencies from Catalonia to Virginia and a grant from the Barbara Deming Fund. She is a doctoral candidate in Literacy Education at Syracuse University.

Gemma’s work previously appeared in June 2014.