Annette M. Sisson

This small earth, the tide’s salt-edged tongues, damp licking. Breath eddies, swells the sponge of lungs, lobes suspended amid sky and sea, exhaling, exhaling. Gust gathers, sweeps through the priory ruins, presses sheaves of basalt, wrenches cord grass and bogbean—the chest-hinge opens. Blood thumps. Gale surges, crests, pummels laps of sand. Ancient monks murmur, figments in spray. Slick, mercurial bodies, molded heads—grey seals bob in surf; they lumber to shore, clamber onto rock, keep vigil, quiet as gospel on calfskin.


About the Author

Annette Sisson’s poems can be found in Birmingham Poetry Review, Nashville Review, Typishly, One, The West Review, HeartWood Literary Magazine, Sky Island Journal, and others. Her first full-length book, Small Fish in High Branches, is forthcoming from Glass Lyre Press (2022); her chapbook, A Casting Off, was published by Finishing Line (2019). She was named a Mark Strand Poetry Scholar for the 2021 Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a 2020 BOAAT Writing Fellow, and winner of The Porch Writers’ Collective’s 2019 Poetry Prize.