APPARITION

ASHLEY MARES

 
 

What does it mean to clutch a ship’s

edge and not remember the last time

your bones touched land. Our

bodies birthed from water: this

is the work of women. Freshwater

pearls forming in sea-woven wombs

now around the neck of a daughter: women’s

bones are always touching. My mother

tells me to concentrate: it’s something

I can feel. No bone can be pulled

from its home. When I press my nail

into my skin the flesh whitens

like ocean foam. Then everything

reddens: blood vessels rising to the surface.

The skin on my wrist is thin: stretched

over visible veins so I remember I was

born in blood. Because my body
wasn’t made for peace: for never

feeling pain. My mother brought me

to the world’s edge and told me to

slip my foot into the moving water. Bring

a hand to your chest: feel your clavicles

that point like arrows ahead towards

our bone’s end: the place we all go.

 

 
 

∘∘∘