Maria Frasca


My parents named me Maris, meaning “Of the Sea” 

in Latin.  I live by the water now that I can afford 

to be choosy, have a social life mostly lived among 

grated oyster shells and beach stones riding the surf

that further erodes their forms.  I walk the beach 

to know the sea’s mix of beauty and atrocity, the flow 

never at a standstill.  I walk petitioning mercy 

from my sitting still.  Watch dead matter wrestle with 

the tide.  The foul smell of seaweed and exoskeletons 

slapped against retaining walls stretches my senses.

The bay storms like a song of wreckage, unexpectedly 

curls like dancing blue ribbons. I walk to know under 

which law to travel, and how cheerful is stepping aside 

for a scattering little crab that weighs next to nothing.


Marisa Frasca is the author of two poetry collections: Via Incanto (Bordighera Press, 2014) and Wild Fennel (Bordighera, 2019). Her poems and translations have been widely published in literary journals and anthologies, among them: Border Lines, (Knopf — Penguin Random House) The New Colossus Translation Project, (American Jewish Historical Society) The Journal of Italian Translation. (CUNY) Frasca serves on the editorial board of Arba Sicula, a nonprofit that promotes Sicilian literature and folklore through its journals, Arba Sicula and Sicilia Parra.