Charybdis by Ruth Foley


Charybdis
Ruth Foley

It’s not the sea I thirst for, really—or, at least,
not any sea. It’s his sea, the salt of him, the restless
tossing he and I create. This whirl is barely a spoon
stirring a pot if we’re going to make comparisons.
Take his boat and he’ll start swimming; he has never
taken well to drifting. He won’t allow his thoughts to
come unmoored. His hands go through me and I begin
to spin. Sometimes his ocean gets the worst of me.

He builds container ships and skiffs, digs out canoes,
binds logs and paddles. He knows how to fix knots
I cannot begin to name, hauls himself beyond my reach
without a pulley, leaves me like salt water, more parched
for the attempt to take him in. All so he can say he isn’t
choosing. All to skim along the surface of the blame.


Ruth Foley lives in Massachusetts, where she teaches English for Wheaton College. Her work appears in numerous web and print journals, including Antiphon, The Bellingham Review, The Louisville Review, and Nonbinary Review. Her chapbook Dear Turquoise is available from Dancing Girl Press. She serves as Managing Editor for Cider Press Review.

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