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.