Today I smelled ocean from my landlocked backyard
past the fires burning off fallow
and soil’s seams undone by tiller
to seaweed, salt, gull cry and feather.
Clear froth troubles the edge
where land dissolves into water
and becomes itself no longer.


Where water hits the body
cold and sharp as absolution
whales drift by in the deep,
you in the belly,
a curled C in amniotic brine
an oyster plump and slick
learning the sound of heartbeat and wave.


These first loves you first hold
without knowing:
the swimmer’s weightlessness
the jolt of the dream where you’re falling.
Bluegreen seaworld, the horizon’s colour,
light seeps through membrane, a harbinger.


I sing to put my body in any body
of water. Here, there is none
but spring’s thaw to dissolve what holds
me together. When the season comes
I will be the flood that soaks the soil,
swells the river that runs
to greater water, becomes
greater water.

Leah Schnurr lives in Ottawa, Canada, where she writes very slowly. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Windsor Review, MockingHeart Review, The Pinch and SWWIM. She is an active member of the Canty Collective of Writerly Women. More: Twitter @LeahSchnurr