want as/an ocean, red pears

By Mia Nelson

want as/ an ocean

“168” © Mitya Ku https://www.flickr.com/photos/james_sickmind/5461003613/)

ocean hands me massacre
of plum leaves/
fallen purple branches/
and snow crabs.
find me body curled
over the morning
as the ocean gives me
more. its tongue rolling
gifts midsea stomach
twist and saltlick. i too
am sick of all the give
give give. i want to take.
i want to pull from the
shore its pearls, its silver
dollars. i want to say want
and have it sound like need/
I need the world to stand
still so I don’t have to
keep moving. I want
one good walk on the
beach. I want one mass
exodus of turtles. of crabs.
I want to see leaving instead of
feeling it/
I want to stop feeling. I want
ocean arms and ocean lips or
I want this body to stop
feeling like the ghost of a body.
I want to be taken home. I want
to know which direction to tell
the car. I want to know I am
somewhere I shouldn’t be
by knowing where I should be.
I want this ocean to stop feeling
like sister when it should be feeling
like ocean. I want to not understand
why the waves come back and back
blue and sucker-punched and tired
like this time they won’t break/
I want no intimacy with water/
I want everything in the world.
I want nothing in this world.

red pears

good god the earth is mad
with sweet things, with pickable
beauty. honey-bee humming
and the tree is late. the sky is blue-green
hustle for speechless and it turns the
red pears yellow. the birds take their cages
inside them. the osculating warm of
a day marked by your blood and mine:
rushing like holly beads or bandits
to my cheeks and your palms. you are
the exact kind of warm i would
like to suffocate in. the tree is late and the
bloom isn’t coming. autumn falling to
hot heat. to sandpaper hot. to grasshopper sting
of sun-rash. i found you in the late
summer, and i will love you until this unbloomable
tree spreads its hands open
with baby flowers. with red or yellow pears.
your lips come on mine like rosemary from
a gun barrel. your tongue speaks
my language. your tongue sings my language.
you sweet thing, you give me red apples and
we half them together: our hands sticky and sweet.
love of mine, you are golden homily. you
are everything i need to hear, silently. and you
tell me i am the open, flowered way of breathing
that teaches you to love your mouth
as much as I do.


Mia Nelson is a rising high school senior from Colorado, where she attends Denver School of the Arts. Her great loves are poetry, history, and the beach. She has been recognized by the Foyle Young Poets Prize, Hollins University, Columbia College, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Stories on Stage, and Princeton University.

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