Lindsay Faber Chiat

You could easily make a case
of the ocean’s garbled intentions
its multitude of brilliant/surreptitious dweller—


angelfish that flirt near coral, then withdraw, seize.

And mine: My constant here-and-there
And then here.

A mile of water I am under
is what I’ll say

all those exes and ohs, hinterblown coulda-beens
it’s so often that words slip
free of their sentences

tumble to the ground, breathless
and unattached—

No signage, no edges smooth
like rubbed meat, no beacon
aglow like a butcher’s wand.

Oh to be this unseasoned
this natural as a yam,
little barrel of earth—

it’s true the root of the thing swallowing
the shadows of the most swollen days
is there above
unfettered and aflight
free like the conscience of an orchestra.

Lindsay Faber Chiat is a college counselor who lives in New Jersey with her husband and baby daughter. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tar River, The Meadowland Review, Oak Bend Review, The Literary Review, Fourteen Hills, Barrow Street, and The Salt River Review.

“I’m not sure if what we had in the back of the house I grew up in would actually qualify as a ’porch’-seems that raised gathering places in the rear of a home are more often called ’decks.’ In any case, the back porch-deck at my house was famous for displaying surprise gifts left behind from furry midnight visitors. Come morning, we would know by the size of the gift, and by its aromatics, just who had been there the night before. Regrettably.”