Holly Karapetkova

The ocean doesn’t ask forgiveness.
Overnight in a sudden fit of disgust
it thrusts mound upon mound of seaweed
on the shore, the pale sand a tangle
of mahogany and rust for half a kilometer.
Then slowly over several months,
one high tide at a time, it takes
each lamina back as though it had forgotten
the story it was reading and why,
its long arm arching over the words
and filling them with its own music
rushing toward us in a loud hush—
as though it could ask for silence.

Holly Karapetkova is the current Poet Laureate of Arlington, Virginia. Her poetry, prose, and translations have appeared recently in Southern Review, North American Review, Blackbird, and other places. Her most recent book of poetry is Towline, winner of the Vern Rutsala Poetry Contest from Cloudbank Books.