Out to the Ocean

I needed space from my space.
The walls of our home that hold us in a loving container
began to feel like a well-meaning,
yet overbearing mother.

And so I drove,
up and over the green-bosomed hills
that contain our towns,
our busy-ness,
and out to the ocean.
This element of Earth who is unapologetically,
like that one, offbeat bohemian auntie
who let you take sips of her wine when no one was looking.

Shedded the shoes that bound my feet
and walked barefoot.
Each step sunk deeper
into her sands
and let the world fall from my shoulders,
because what was I thinking that I could hold a planet with only my bones?

Her waves thinned into lacy foam as it crept upon the shoreline,
skimming beneath my soles.
This wild auntie revealed her jewel box.
A display of magical stones, stolen from faraway cliffs
the vacant homes of mollusks, patinaed to an indigo blue,
the bleached clam shells, ribboned with deep green
that looked more like woven baskets from Navajo deserts
Plucking each one as a fine treasure,
her waves ambling ashore seemed to whisper,
“Take one more, you’re my favorite.
And so I did.

~Jennifer Brinn, copyright 2021


Where did you get those eyes Senor?
Those pools where mermaids lure angels
to swim.

You sway
with the languid sugarcane fields,
yet stand tall, solid,
like the barnacled sea wall
which keeps Mother Havana from crumbling
into a lost Atlantis.

And where did you find your voice cariño?
Singing of time forgotten,
bathing me like a rum punch sunset
bathes slumping tenements.

Bearing hibiscus at a punctual twilight
your eyes speak solely to your altar for Lazarus
but your song…

¡Ay!… your song,
two-times with Maria
who mambos solo
with a wilted gardenia behind her ear

copyright 1998 Jennifer Brinn

Because You Can

Monsieur Chat, sitting upon the sill
because you can,
because you fit so perfectly
in that small plane of space

No one would ever know how much
you can sprawl
outstretched belly in both directions

Not one person could ever guess
at the lion you are when you
lower yourself deep in the tall
spring grass
patiently waiting for that plump
morsel of field mouse to unwittingly
cross your path
and you pounce because you can.

copyright 2012 Jennifer Brinn