Ocean Rooms

By Laure-Anne Bosselaar

The moon trawled the low tide far back behind the beach,
              beyond black rocks, into a shimmer of gravel

& beach glass: a Klimt rug of green, amber, gold,
              hidden most of the year in the ocean’s backroom.

But it’s winter solstice & a large winter sun is all chilled
              radiance this morning. The tourists are gone,

the locals still asleep or on their way to work, so the ocean
              throws open its rooms for me alone, lays bare

a million splinters & shattered deaths: shells & boats
              & glass & bones, letting the sun stun them

with air & light. All of this such wonder & wreckage,
              unburied alive between sky & sea.

I’m glad for this beach, glad for its tides, for things
              that do come back.

Just as I leave—coming close so eagerly—
                            a back-lit wave swells, rises, curls, &

drowns this instant back into its kelp-choked rooms.

Laure-Anne Bosselaar is the author of four poetry books, the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and edited five anthologies. She won the James Dickey Prize for Poetry in 2020. Her new book, These Many Rooms, came out from Four Way Books. She teaches at the Solstice Low Residency MFA Program and served as Santa Barbara’s Poet Laureate (2019-2021). Also by this poet: "Sundowner Wind" and "Robert's Keys"