Open Relationship with the Ocean

By 
Adèle Barclay

A pinhole projects
the moon topping the sun
onto Portia’s palm
she holds the solar eclipse
as it holds Monday still
we swim naked for five hours
in the ocean without sunscreen
bare-handed intimacy
with a hungry tide
my skin’s already burnt
when you mention
boiling all the cocks
before coming home
I am a bell that won’t stop ringing
until you dampen me with fists
a week later under the heat wave’s
smoky pink eye
I line you up against the fence
and spray you with cold water
my hand closing over
the garden hose’s mouth

Adèle Barclay’s debut poetry collection, If I Were in a Cage I’d Reach Out for You (Nightwood, 2016), won the 2017 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. She is the critic-in-residence for Canadian Women in the Literary Arts and an editor at Rahila’s Ghost Press. She lives on Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver.

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