On the island of Lampedusa, Italy near where a boat of Libyan migrants capsized in stormy seas, killing dozens on November 24, 2019
The wind cries Sairah, Ahmed, Isha.
I have mouthed each damned name—
my tongue, a tide on this white beach.
And now I stand at the breakwater.
Rotted timber stabs the night
black and starless.
Even the heaving sea blunted
by my presence.
What else can be said now? The future
spread out in the distance like a disease.
I was foolishly calm setting out
for this place where the shells
echo anxious hearts. Reprisals
leak like the runoff seeping
into the sea. Entropy gathers
in tidal pools. The sand beneath
my feet quickens then draws
down and away.
Heidi Seaborn is Editorial Director of The Adroit Journal, author of the debut collection Give a Girl Chaos (Mastodon Books, 2019) and a NYU MFA candidate.Since 2016, she’s won or been shortlisted for over two dozen awards and published in numerous journals and anthologies.