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Post Road Magazine #34

Virgil Visits the Shore

Becka Mara McKay

Just as the okra pod makes a gesture,
becoming a hand held shut for safekeeping

strings of seeds, and the roots of the fig tree
are fingers to grip the soil in dormant

seasons, so the throat is a vessel to trap
the air in rough water.

On the same day the waves

turned me upside down and seized me by the neck,
they built a wall of glass on my behalf,

bricked with a thousand fish: a ceremony
begun and ended in the space of a single

held breath.

And just as the exile trembles

in a country without fruit trees
to remember the taste of apricots, so did

my hands twitch for hours afterward,
like small porpoises who can’t stop thinking

about the sea, about a thousand fish
stacked inside the sky like a saga

I could never finish telling.

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