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[Poetry] Seaside by Ariel K. Moniz



If you gathered those who once

claimed their love as my name

each would pull you aside, rough-palmed

and storm-eyed, saying


press your ear there,

to where the lungs slip past the bones


they will tell you how to gut me,

force me open to the crowded air,

each will show you how it’s done

with smiles harpoon sharp, mischief

gleaming, fish washed ashore.


Believing is a net cast, a bounty.


These fishermen love the sea, as they loved me

and how they long to pillage, to wax poetic

with the tides sweeping in and out of grip,

how they smell their pillows in the cool, sweet night

for the salty spray of my passing,

how they taste conquest when the waters shout and cry—


they have forgotten me there, where the waves crash

like half-hearted suicides, there at the open coast

of my sea body, salt-crusted and lonely

as a late September afternoon.




Ariel K. Moniz (she/her) is a queer Black poetess and Hawaii local. She is an editor and a co-founder of The Hyacinth Review. You can find her through her website at or staring out to sea.


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