Surface Tension - Alise Versella

Come now down to the harbor
Where the boats all float like Ophelia
Lain upon the tar-black lagoon
Whimpering with seagulls
Wings flapping like laundered sheets the hotel maid pulls taut
Like the cheeks and crow’s feet creasing at the eyes
Of smiling crones in Upper East Side plastic surgery offices
Come now and grease the pulleys, come and hoist the ropes
With sinewy arm—too skinny like clucking wings of hens
Pecking at ticks in the grass
Let me know what it is to kiss
You listless
Like the wind at evening toll under moonlight on creaking dock
                       Bleached by salt
Come walk with me
Let us embark
Let us drop our toes off the planks
The barnacles at the piling—as you pile your hair atop your head
Let us jump fully clothed into these dark waters
Let us float merrily
Unencumbered by shoelaces coming untied
Unaware of all that keeps us sinking

Below the surface of the gently lapping wave
And the cool, dark air.

Alise Versella is a Pushcart nominated poet who, though barely reaching most mic stands, has grown to have a mighty lung capacity well beyond her mere 5ft. When she isn’t using her poetic talons and wolf jaw to topple the patriarchy and overcome some demons, you can find her drinking gin, painting, and trying to get as close as possible to Florence and the Machine. Snag a copy of her full length When Wolves Become Birds and visit her here: