Dear Astoria

by Natalie Homer

Have the skeleton ships succumbed
to barnacles & rust, the salt wash of the sea?

And the little A-frame named “It’ll Do”—
is it still there, safe in the hemlock?

Mild-mannered Pacific,
I wanted so badly for you to be home.

Your palette, cool-toned: foam, moss, grotto.
And the woodsmoke: sweet censer.

Easy to perch here at the edge of the world,
place of departure. Violet morning, starless dark,

where the water seems to make the glass,
not just smooth it.

Eight rings of the bell mean end of watch.
Rarely is suffering heard so clearly.


Natalie Homer is the author of the chapbook Attic of the Skull (dancing girl press). Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in The Journal, the minnesota review, Blue Earth Review, The Pinch, The Lascaux Review, Ruminate, Salamander, and others. She earned an MFA from West Virginia University and lives in southwestern Pennsylvania.

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