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Ocean House


Sam Moe

ocean house stands as tall as button mushrooms in the night
but when the moon makes her appearance so too does the house
unfurl into toadstool steps, blue curtains, stained glassware
that spells out a name I thought I’d forgotten. it’s unfair
to claim we’ve run out of time when time was not real from
the start. when you arrive, you perch on the windowsill,

coat pockets full of oyster mushrooms and enokis, the sill
looks big enough that I might sit too, but I don’t want night
to catch us together, I’m afraid you’ll leave if I stay. from
the deepest chamber of my clamshell clamped heart, house
full of beech clusters, I whisper to the swamp what is unfair
meaning I am afraid of the truth that does not greet me gloss

of the floor is slick, I edge towards your presence, you’re glass
of rosé in hand, you’re floral skirts fanned out like suns, still
I feel a rush when you ask me if we can go to the kitchen. fair
food is stuffed into all the cabinets, funnel cakes dusted with night
time sugar, deep-fried BLT’s there are green cookies and House
hides well the cotton candy tubs but we find them, sea foam

and echo of light opal, each cluster tastes savory. from
fried ice cream clusters in the stove to homemade jelly, glass
panes made of sugar that resemble playing cards, I crave house
wrapped bacon-corn, please feed me blue ribbons, still
my shaking hands which seem to only write the past. night
is a caramel pear covered in drizzle and sea salt, it’s fair

to hide bundles of money in the silverware drawers. love, flair
of your stories always draws me close, please tell me from
where do I find the courage to ask you to stay here. night
iced tea is navy with sugar, royal blue with coffee cream, glass
is not proper for this occasion, let’s drink from our hands, will
you take me into the chest so I may confess, I need your hard house

press to my oven-nicked hands, I’ve stopped longing for houses
to save me, it’s the relationship between refrigerators, unfair
yet perfect sycamore trees, it’s the stairs inside and out, still
I think this house is going to save me but only if you stay. from
the kitchen table I see a circus tent unfold in the living room, glass
eyed contortionists and tightrope walkers call your name, night

isn’t nearly as good as when you’re gone, yet you leave my house
for this inner-space, red tent cloth and buckets of fried foam,

I hear you singing as the tent extinguishes itself, don’t tell you
it’s unfair I love you because it’s my fault for believing glossy-

toned springtime lies you tucked into berries. the tent folds
itself into a pocket square. I climb the nearest windowsill and
disappear into another night.

Sam Moe (she/her) is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is pursuing a PhD in creative writing at Illinois State University. Her work has appeared in Overheard Lit Mag and Cypress Press. She received an Author Fellowship from Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing in June, 2021.

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