The Deeps

by Judith Skillman

We steer away from them.
There a sister or a cousin.
Here a tooth bobbing in a dream.
Possums plunder plums.
We sit at the helm with cocktails.
Steerage in the cargo bay.
A portion of amnesia.
The water plays at waves.
Perhaps it’s only physics.
Concentric rings smell of fish.
We steer the craft as given.
Time in dry dock equals waste.
Sweet peas only grow at night,
when half-wild animals
pour from sewer grates.

Judith Skillman’s recent books are Premise of Light (Tebot Bach), and Came Home to Winter (Deerbrook Editions). She is the recipient of grants from Artist Trust and from the Academy of American Poets. Her work has appeared in Shenandoah, Poetry, Cimarron Review, The Southern Review, and other journals. Visit

Copyright 2018, Judith Skillman

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