SUSAN L. LEARY
Nothing about the water is heroic. & not because the water is the site of your burial. But because to believe in water is an extraordinary act of faith. The old man & his marlin leave a trail of blood & bones, a floating gospel which says the beauty of life is that it quiets our fate & love is the very first act. You love me because I married the boy who first held you, who at the age of six shrouded your body in sailcloth & cradled it into the boat of his own. When you say I must carry on our name, I take this to mean I should live long enough to return your brother to you. That as the old bones fragile themselves into dust, into ocean, into bloom, the water will become water again.
Susan L. Leary is the author of Contraband Paradise (Main Street Rag, 2021) and the chapbook, This Girl, Your Disciple (Finishing Line Press, 2019), which was a finalist for The Heartland Review Press Chapbook Prize and a semi-finalist for the Elyse Wolf Prize. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in such places as Tahoma Literary Review, Cherry Tree, Arcturus (Chicago Review of Books), and The Christian Century. She teaches in the Writing Program at the University of Miami.