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the waves are so loud I hear them crashing in my sleep


Koty Neelis

do you hear them too
the somber ocean, a lonely tide
casual hauntings
the deepened longing of
memory and time
a stolen kiss, a collarbone
the taste of salt and night sky

when I wake
a man is vomiting on the shore
a boat has capsized
I can’t remember if I wanted
the bruises on my thigh

in the waves, I’m all
surface and depth,
restless and yearning
cornflower blue on black
no need to call the light house
the seabirds sing
I’m ready to know
what happens in the end

Koty Neelis grew up mostly in Michigan, never far from the waves of the great lakes. Her essays, poetry, and reported work have been published in Maudlin House, Hobart, Vice, Dazed Magazine, Rejection Lit, and more. She's currently working on a book and taking swim classes to be a better Pisces.

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