Poems & Essays

23 Nov

When I Go Off The Deep End

Toddlers to Teens No Response

                      –With apologies to my children

I forget who I am.
Not silk or glow like the skin
I was born into. 

Not evening song
swishing over sleepy bodies.
They’re too old 

to remember cradle sway, 
my hands sea breeze 
wafting them into reverie,

too young to understand how
memories can splinter under
the crack of unmeasured words.

Not human but sea holly, I crave 
the hush and breadth of sand dunes 
but they storm into the room 

I am tidying, tossing toys 
far and wide. Their laughter catches 
on my thorns, falls in flakes at my feet.

Not human but stargazer, an uglier
version of my blue groper nature.
There are times they bury me 

up to my face in complaints 
and my scream leaps at them,
shocking them into compliance.

There are times I am rock, deaf
to their demands, tumbling over
the cliff of my sanity. They climb

and climb, seeking the peak of my love. 
Rock, engulfed in a rising sea, holding
their hands as I count to three.

Julie Weiss’s debut chapbook, The Places We Empty, will be published by Kelsay Books in July 2021. In 2020, she was a finalist in Alexandria Quarterly’s first line poetry contest series and for The Magnolia Review’s Ink Award. In 2019 she was a Best of the Net Nominee. Recent work appears in Better Than Starbucks, Praxis Magazine, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, and Anti-Heroin Chic, among others, and she has poems in many anthologies, as well. Originally from California, she lives in Spain with her wife and two young children. You can find her on Twitter @colourofpoetry or on her website at https://julieweiss2001.wordpress.com/.

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