The Tides Turn the Land Into Sea and the Sea Into Land

almost went home            with a woman once                 {a change of wind}
I can conjure up her scent            the shapes her body made  
how I lifted up the sea                   with two fingers 

{am I still this body}                           {the body pulled?}

I’m still                                 married to a man
and every weekend            we hike the woods by our house
our talks returning             like the tides do                     tired of themselves
but still coming                             coming again              and again
…sublunar…                …antipodal…                     …sublunar…                    …antipodal…

{years of}                           {which type of attraction is real attraction?}  

I’m stuck like a coral                              no getting out
I probably like it here                             sunk in my sunny tidepool
yet I trust my phone                               more than myself
GPS can see me walking                      a tight coastal path in dunes and grass
screen dimensions in such large numbers of pixels                     we can’t even
it’s like the depth of the sea

{I heard on NPR that Google}           {knows us better than we know ourselves} 

unearth the B in LGBTQ at dinner parties where my husband 
laughs at jokes                     and my kids read on the couch 
bi                                            like a community of creatures 
blooming                             under my underwire                    a rock-pool filled 
with iridescent starfish battles           up through my armpits                  into my throat

{sometimes actually say it}

one time at a hotel bar                      a guy tells me about his lesbian daughter 
and somehow I say                            well, I’m bi, and… 
finish my sentence                             as if the sweat were not fresh
in my pits                                            limpets’ muscular feet             clinging 

{most often upon meeting lesbians}              {I want to inform them}

I know my haircut and my skirts and my earrings 
and my my husband sentences                     become a repeated 
racket of waves                                   eroding the shore
in fine bubbles            husband and kids            years and years

{have you cleared your history?}            {Google knows you’re gay}

I remember folding notes from friend to friend to friend           to crush
the notebook-paper’s texture turned soft           and now             a natural pull 
between two people                  both dug of the same earth 
seems like sympathy                  the loose dirt returned to delta

{what does happily married mean} {exactly?}

my husband                   lifts some large object                and I can feel 
oh, my ovaries! translucent eggs swimming the monthly current
I take his hand               and squeeze my own breast with it

despite              this glare                surface tension
tomorrow we’ll wake to high tide                the red sun crackling 
our pumps open and shut       in the evening        the anchor pulled low
and my tongue              gentle as a snail                    sand on its back

Josette Akresh-Gonzales is the author of Apocalypse on the Linoleum (forthcoming from Lily Poetry Review Press). Her work has been published in Atticus Review, JAMA, The Pinch, The Journal, Breakwater Review, PANK, and many other journals. A recent poem has been included in the anthology Choice Words (Haymarket). She co-founded the journal Clarion and was its editor for two years. Josette lives in the Boston area with her husband and two boys and rides her bike to work at a nonprofit medical publisher. Tweets @Vivakresh.

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