Jessica Morey-Collins


I write my name over and over on the surface of water.

I write:

bad bitch
star guts
sea kitten

The linger of some words on the surface
freaks me out, but so does their dissolution.

Online diagnostics pop (on the surface of the water).
Sand crabs burrow in saturated sand—half terrestrial.

Depth is a misnomer for height,
in every direction. Since I left

or vice versa. If you swim
for long enough, landfall is
happiness is vertigo.

I can’t open my mouth without
gushing ocean all over.

Toy shovels for arms, I sit on a sand-mound flinging
echoes all over my wet skin. I write over and over
my name at the seam of land and sea.

I write:

all teeth
star guts
all salt

And the surface of the water won’t stand still for my definitions.

Jessica Morey-Collins is a Pushcart nominated MFA student at the University of New Orleans, where she works as associate poetry editor for Bayou Magazine. She received a scholarship to study at the NYS Summer Writer’s Institute and was a finalist for the 4th Annual Gigantic Sequins Poetry Contest. Her poems and nonfiction can be found or are forthcoming in Pleiades, scissors & spackle, Superstition Review, The Boiler Journal, Animal Literary Journal and elsewhere. She blogs on craft for the North American Review.

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