I picked my way nearer along the shocking rock shelf,
hoping the sea would rise up to give me myself.
Seagulls reared louder and closer than anything planned;
I looked out to see, and forgot I could still see the land.
Lost in a foaming green crawl, I grew smaller than me.
Shrunk in a tidepool, I heaved, and I wondered. The sea
grew like monuments for me – each wave and its coloring shadow
bereft, wild and laden with wrack, spoke for me and had no
need of my words any more. I was open and glad
at last, grateful like seaweed and glad, since I had
no place on the rocks but a voice, and the voice was the sea.
Annie Finch’s newest books are Spells: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press) and A Poet’s Craft: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Sharing Your Poetry (University of Michigan Press). She is Director of the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine. She is a Senior Fellow of the Black Earth Institute.