My family took my voice
long before any sea-witch offered.
The song that reached their ears
from my lips was their own.
If the ocean was my oyster,
I a pearl from a grain of sand,
then my world was no larger
than the margins of that speckled shell.
Age equaled freedom
five sisters equaled five years
biding time amongst the barnacles.
But every crumb of gossip
collected from their
did not prepare me for anything.
The sky as wide as childhood
crushing down on the roof
of my ocean, the rough grain
of wind across my salt-smoothed cheek
and the queer vessels of men
which move only forward, only back
and I marveled at their
lack of dimensions.
They will say it was
that stole me away from my watery home.