cape ann · Mark DeCarteret

out here the west is not even the west
the sea, never sure of its part,

& there is no water to speak of
shelf or shore to draw any perspective

little art to the salt on our lips
further thought to our flesh

only a sun, plush and shell-pink,
sewn into the sky with red thread

the clouds as white as where the waves
would be capped-off and doubtless

were there something
new to delve into

or wed ourselves
even in name

sure, I’ll risk jeweled, kissed or even be-dewed
the sickness that comes from our love-making

but never the gestures that kept your place
like the refulgent trail of some jellyfish

Mark DeCarteret's work has appeared next to Charles Bukowski in a lo-fi fold out, Pope John Paul II in a high test collection of Catholic poetry, Billy Collins in an Italian fashion coffee table book, and Mary Oliver in a 3785 page pirated anthology. He was a finalist for the Poet Laureate of New Hampshire.