Lisa Marie Basile

saint of sea change

These days, I am 


in this choir of ghosts. 

I have visions of ancestral symmetry, arabesque

and honey, tesserae of a thousand lives.

That we haven’t all been so sick, so dead at sea,

in cathedrals where we kneel to devils

because our hearts haven’t been made whole.

I am so tired of the cycle

and so full of it, veined and spinal, full of the cycle.

I could linger forever in this bloodwound, 

that I would become patron saint of my own sorrows. 

Praying at the altar of myself, I am the altar and I am the prayer. 

I see my reflection in this loop, my eyes in sepia belonging to a girl

who washes linen in the sea, who suckles limone and god.

       I want to give my name a new day

& stand in our dark wound and touch it,

    light it up by the fire of Etna. The zibbibo and pomelia,

children of children of children who made me 

flooding the streets of heaven. 

Have you ever looked at the sea? It is full of the drunk and the poor,  

   of names that get sliced by time and oppression. It is so honest

        you cry into its open palms. It says you’re home.

I am opening wounds that have never seen the light,

      generations of clasped palms. I am speaking my name with the music of it.      I translate a thousand waves cresting;

I am the poet. I am the line break. 


Lisa Marie Basile is the founding creative director of Luna Luna Magazine, the author of a few books of poetry and nonfiction, including Light Magic for Dark Times as well as The Magical Writing Grimoire: Use the Word as Your Wand for Magic, Manifestation & Ritual. She’s written for or been featured in The New York Times, Entropy, Catapult, Best American Experimental Writing, and more. You can follow her at @lisamariebasile and @Ritual_Poetica.