Seafoam Sestina

by Jessica Peter in Issue Eight, March 2023

As she’s borne softly on the waves,
salt hangs aloft, brining her lips.
Palm trees sway on nearby shores,
but unease gathers in her heart.
It’s paradise, yet she’ll not forget:
her home feels like it’s not enough.

That constant whisper, “Not enough.”
Yet there’s no answer on the waves.
It makes her want to leave, forget.
‘Til kindness from her sisters’ lips
slows her ever-yearning heart.
But it still beats for other shores.

So one day she leaves, toward the shores,
to find something to be enough.
She sees him. Her wretched heart,
it swells; she lifts herself above the waves.
All her focus on his sultry lips,
his handsome brow makes her forget.

Away from home, all else she will forget.
It will be better on the shores.
Magic sparks when lips meet lips.
And maybe, maybe, it’s enough.
But he brings others on the waves;
they cage her and her broken heart.

Now there’s nothing in her heart.
But her sisters, they did not forget.
They come to her upon the waves,
smash her prison, climb to the shores,
and make a meal of it. Plenty enough,
as blood drips from their fangs and lips.

“I’m sorry,” slips from her disloyal lips.
She leaves, cradling her shattered heart,
accepting that nothing will be enough.
She’ll be alone now; try her best to forget.
But her sisters, they take her home, from these shores.
Dripping blood, they descend into the waves.

While her lips may never forget,
her heart no longer dreams of distant shores.
The sea and the waves, they are enough.

© 2023 Jessica Peter

Jessica Peter

Jessica Peter writes dark, haunted, and sometimes absurd short stories, novels, and poems. She lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. You can find her writing in LampLight Magazine, The NoSleep Podcast, and Brigid's Gate anthologies, among other places. You can find out more about her and her work at www.jessicapeter.net or @JessicaPeter1 on Twitter.

Poetry by Jessica Peter
  • Seafoam Sestina