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Agate Beach


The traveler need not journey on.
The traveler’s journey is one of return.

If not agates, then barnacles, if not
sweet-smelling seaweed, then shattered shells.
The traveler need not journey on.

If not mussels, then sea glass, if not

smooth surfaces, then rocks pocked by anemones.
The traveler’s journey is one of return.
A dead Dungeness crab bobs in the spume.

Waterlogged, it still rises and falls.

The traveler’s journey is one of return.
The traveler need not journey on.

In a tidal pool, an orange sea star
supplies a sun for another sky.
The traveler’s journey is one of return.

We rinse the sand from our souvenirs

and lose half the agates in our hands.
The traveler need not journey on.
We take what we can, rain boots filled

with rocks and shells. We carry our wet socks.

The traveler need not journey on.
The traveler’s journey is one of return.




Index


once I had
long black hair
I confess

that it was
beautiful
wait this is

a poem
once I had
beautiful

long hair and
a baby
I confess

I hungered
wait this is
a poem

about how
once I had
a baby

and I was
still hungry
I confess

I wanted
another
I confess

I wanted
two babies
wait I should

say how I
tried to have
another

and it died
I confess
I tried for

another
after that
I confess

it died in
me too I
confess two

babies died
inside me
wait let me

tell you once
I cut my
long black hair

I confess
that it was
beautiful


Wendy Chin-Tanner is the author of the poetry collection Turn (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014), which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards and co-author of the graphic novel American Terrorist (A Wave Blue World). Her poetry has been featured or is forthcoming at a variety of venues including The Collagist, The Rumpus, Vinyl Poetry, Denver Quarterly, Ampersand Review, The Normal School, RHINO Poetry, and The Mays Anthology of Oxford and Cambridge. She is a founding editor at Kin Poetry Journal, poetry editor at The Nervous Breakdown, and staff interviewer at Lantern Review.

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