We have drawn and redrawn the maps of each other’s bodies many times. Love made us cartographers. For what is marriage if not a ship we have built together in hopes of riding out the ebbs and flows? There have been times when I would have laid anchor. Times when I would have driven an axe into the hull and let the water seep in. I cannot swim. And you call this ship a boat. You know all the nautical terms. I don’t. But there have been times when I would have bailed out the water from storms. Bailed until my shoulders ached and my hands blistered. Times we have cupped our hands and bailed together. Scrubbed the deck clean. I, who once sought the land under my feet, always ready to run. Here we are at the rim of the Pacific. And I have learned to bend my knees, to sway, to be salted, to tilt the astrolabe.
On a guided meditation
my therapist’s voice transports
me to outer space.
I wander in the cosmos
and as I glide back down
to earth, I pause to take
a bite out of the full moon.
Lunar rock sticks in my teeth
like vanilla taffy, forms a lump
in my throat before it
slides down to my hungry
stomach, the growling werewolf.
Ray Ball, Ph.D., is a history professor, essayist, and poet. She grew up in Oklahoma and Texas, but now lives in Anchorage, Alaska. She is the author of two history books and her verse has recently appeared in Cirque, Longleaf Review, and West Texas Literary Review.