For Lena, 1987-2014

Cassie Pruyn


The first time we slept together

I mean slept    we swayed

all night like moored skiffs   

shushing water up each other’s

smooth fiberglass sides


She’d turn when I’d turn

as if the same wave tipped us

toward the same shore


Far below    a baby whale

spilled free of its mother

in a swirl of red


but the two remained tethered    suspended

even once the cord snapped


Soon enough    light seeped


beneath the rim of the overturned sky


Soon enough    the riffling sea

sharpened to a field of blades

CASSIE PRUYN is a New Orleans-based poet born and raised in Portland, Maine. Her poems have appeared in AGNI Online, The Normal School, The Los Angeles Review, The Adroit Journal, Poet Lore, and others. Her manuscript Lena, winner of the 2017 Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry, will be published through Texas Tech University Press in the spring.