walleah press



Learning to be a Submariner

Rivets ensnare the air but
my body is full of brine, weeping
from my skin,
collecting on my spectacles,
puddling at my practical shoes,
as if the sea in me yearns
to join the sea I must shut out.

But I’m a submariner,
I’m smarter than you.
Now I sleep in the deep
and you have forgotten me,
but soon I will rise full
of phosphorescent gossip.

I will sit in my deck chair
and think of my drowned mates
as my eyelashes dry,
as rosemary hones the evening,
as I stroke the dolphin
stitched to my sleeve.

Lesley Wheeler's poems appear in AGNI, Prairie Schooner, Barrow Street, Blackbird, and other publications; her chapbook Scholarship Girl was published by Finishing Line Press in 2007. She holds an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Her second scholarly book, Voicing American Poetry, appeared from Cornell University Press in 2008. She is also a co-editor with Moira Richards and Rosemary Starace of Letters to the World, an anthology of poems from members of the Women's Poetry Listserv, forthcoming from Red Hen Press. She works as a Professor of English at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.