Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as eight chapbooks, including The Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2017). She serves as the reviews editor for Stirring: A Literary Collection and teaches middle school in the suburbs of Chicago.

Donna Vorreyer

The Lost Art of Giving Up

The ocean does its blue so well that other colors only lie — see, a red bloom will rise when I slice at the swell of the skin's blue-green river— so I swim until I wilt and shiver. Its salt can sting, its waves cradle or tumble, sweep to flush me under in a whitecap's rush toward shore if, remaining idle, I give myself over to its considerable breadth and hue. Yet in its infinite sighs, I am less alone and so I stroke to keep my head clear. Not ready to sleep in its restless bed, I weave a necklace of seaweed, paddle my way back to you — no blue is that blue.

I have always been fascinated by the ocean, probably since I grew up far away from one. This poem started with notes written in my journal while on the beach along with reading some early poems of Elizabeth Bishop. I wanted to play with a rhyme scheme that I "stole" from one of her poems — I hoped that the balance and predictability of the formal structure would be a nice contrast to the idea of the ocean's dichotomy of calm and upheaval as well as the imbalance of indecision in times of emotional struggle.

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
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