SALT RITUAL IN B MINOR 

For a moment, I think we are walking on some
distant seascape, right at the precipice
of the unknown. Grey sky, winter morning.
It’s cold and I’m holding your jacket,
because you wanted to go bathing this time of the year,
letting your hair mingle with the salt.

And I try not to laugh as you shiver,
bouncing frenetically so you don’t step,
on the jellyfish or the seaweed.
You say something about how
whistler named his seascapes after music.
(I don’t mention Eliot at all.)

Your dotted body covered
in freckles and sediment,
is gloriously perfect to me.
(In a few hours, we will go back to your apartment,
and laugh and eat soup, and listen to all
of your mother’s songs on old tapes).

I hand you a towel and you insist on
pulling on your sweater, not caring
that the cable knit wool has no affection for sea water.
You remember the trick I taught you, where you
hold on to the ends of the sleeves to put on your coat.
You told me at the time that I was a genius.

Somewhere further down the sand,
I can see us as if in a mirage,
shrouded in mist.
Whoever made the clouds was a poor artist,
but I think I could exist like this; suspended,
with waves lapping gently at your heels.


MARILYN SCHOTLAND is a second year student at University of Michigan, where she is currently pursuing a double major in Art History and French. She is the co-founder and poetry editor of Bombus Press, an online literary and arts journal. She like peaches, Andrew Wyeth paintings, and drinks too much coffee.