Define Closure                                                                                                  —Adriana Cloud

The sea is a virtue because it does not cast a shadow. 
It is often referred to as a language
you can speak without verbs
or variety in punctuation.  
The sea is an activity, not a feeling.
God gave the sea to Adam
so he could learn patience.
Biological models of the sea
describe it as a drive similar to hunger,
but eating the sea does not produce satisfaction.
There is no remedy for the sea.


Upward, a Swallowing

We say darkness falls,
but really it’s an upward motion.
An inhalation: toe ring, hip, tongue.
How a book under the coffee table
became a synonym for thirst,
because I read it while waiting.
The miners carry the inside of the mountain
on their skin. I learned this from the book.
I carry darkness in my mouth.
Do you know that the name of every bird
means sky? That’s what I want
to believe, that we are named
after what we can’t have
unless we push our bodies through it.
Night, the ocean.
I will name my daughter Darkness
and she will never know
the hardness of floor against knees. 


Horoscope for High Tide

Despair is an art form/social activity
made of sound and silence.
(Sound: how I say “please” like it’s my name
and I am teaching you how to pronounce it.
Silence: how I watch the door
all night but don’t leave.)
There are many kinds of despair.
I play the same song on repeat,
an abacus for how it feels to know
the sea wants me more than you want me.
(Sound: your teeth on my breast.
Silence: the dunes under my hips.)
Despair is a key part of many rituals
like waking up/collecting rain
on your tongue/breathing.
Some people take on despair as a hobby,
others make a career of it.
(Sound: the sea in my mouth as I wade deeper.
Silence: you on the beach,
wanting to touch me
but biting your hand.) 


Adriana Cloud

Adriana Cloud's work has appeared in The Rumpus, McSweeney's, The Nervous Breakdown, Queen Mob's Teahouse, and other journals. Her chapbook Instructions for Building a Wind Chime was published by the Poetry Society of America in 2016. You can find her on Twitter at @adicloud.

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2016