by Beth O’Kain

I don’t need to row an ocean or round a mark. I don’t control the jib sheet. It’s raining. I pull on nothing.

I am spent like from a lover who wants to know me from the backside of my navel. He knows I have secrets and glides in till they fall from my eyes.

My skin smells like cookies. I haven’t been turned over in too, too long.

I smell blood in the shower like the abandoned steel mills my blind hands haven’t explored.

Lately the sun is a Monet painting. This is not Paris.

Cleveland is draining. It won’t rain forever. Tomorrow I’ll be ravenous.

Beth O’Kain’s short stories and poetry have appeared in several publications including the winter 2011 issue of 27 Rue de Fleures. Her novel manuscript, Rowing Nowhere, based on her 2,600-mile, 43-day row across the Atlantic Ocean from January 31st to March 15th 2011, is in progress. Beth is an avid rower and scuba diver, and likes to sail and belly dance. She also enjoys baroque music. Beth lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and holds an MFA from the NEOMFA program.

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