One Poem by Mary Harpin

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In the Ocean I See a Box Jelly

You, again,
             all shining dome
             dancing in the drink.

Sea wasp, my cocktail onion,
             my cotton ball,
             my ghost.

I’m sorry to keep you
             hungry. Once,
             you gave me

A map of the mind and
             undid each thread
             with your dangling nerves.

I woke today
             part cloud. Part drenched.
             Part my old self.

Like you, I am
             the chandelier drifting
             above an unsuspecting party.

Was it you I saw
             waiting? Pale
             under the water? A clover

Of roadways and corpuscles
             your fingers tinkling in
             time with the band?

after Allison Hutchcraft’s “You, Again”, Kenyon Review, Summer 2014




Mary Harpin is a poet and a freelance digital storyteller. Her work has appeared in McSweeny’s Internet Tendency, Everyday Genius, and elsewhere. She is at work on a project with Pen Parentis, gathering interviews about the lives of writers who are also parents. Mary lives in Colorado with her husband and two daughters.

Box jellyfish photo by Daleen Loest, courtesy Shutterstock. is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, artwork, case studies, and more since 1997.