Ten thousand miniature violins bowed
in unison and one that we do not play
because it is strung with baleen bristles
from the sea’s last humpback whale.

No, that is a violin we do not play.
We do not dare, fearful of
over-exposure to longing.

We keep it locked in a stained-glass
chamber, the key to which is kept
inside an overgrown oyster we found the other summer.

The summer when the tide reversed
and instead of going out, it went in.

Don’t you remember that summer?
The radio suddenly went static—
how we learned the waves had changed.

But sometimes I have this dream
where I am the one
inside the stained-glass chamber and

I am scratching my thin nails
along the tone-deaf walls,
first up and down,
then side-to-side—

can you hear
me in here?

i am calling you,
i am calling for you.

for you. i am for you

me. you. hear me?
i am here

I often awaken drenched
in my sea-salt sweat,
heart pumping to a maniac melody. My nails mere shards, my voice brittle.

Can’t you remember the song that always played that summer? Here, listen to my chest. It is still echoing inside me.