In a City Made of Seaweed

by Dave Rowley
Desert Moon Review
Third Place, May 2007
Judged by Bryan Appleyard


Double Sonnenizio on Two Lines by Ilya Kaminsky*

In a city made of seaweed we danced on a rooftop, my hands
were slippery dancers, your body a love-flung shorebreak

arched at the hips. Now a city of sand slips beneath us too, castle
rooftops battered by the tide’s foamy tentacles: such trembly aggressors,

such lurchers of reclamation. We scrawl our story in lines
of seaweed cursive. One lover is a dollop of oyster, the other

a mother-of-pearl cradle, we cling tight as the dance-floor shifts.
Such stubbornness flings us through a city of kelp; it’s complicated

among the olive pods. Stubborn love is like a leatherjacket, that tough city
swaggerer, or a porcupine fish filled with air–you suck up what the ocean hands

you, whether krill, or squid’s black ink. The seabed is a rooftop, our story
made for flight: streaming from our gills in stubborn recklessness

these words of love are little bubbles, dancing, rising on a dare.
Such is the story made of stubbornness and a little air.

*First and last lines are by Ilya Kaminsky.


Luscious and dense language used to entangle imagery and associations. The poem creates a dazed hallucinated atmosphere. --Bryan Appleyard

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