Feature: Issue No. 4, Spring 2013

Wading (Self-Portrait)
Wading (Self-Portrait)
Stella Rothe

The Selkie Laments
Amber Decker

At dusk, townsfolk flock like nervous geese
to the red womb of the tavern
to whisper of my unraveling.
I am the ghost of the river–
white dress puddled at my ankles,
hair wet and dark
as driftwood,
unbuttoned from my skin,
seal-slick.
I fall naked into summery water,
calves rising from the suck of the current,
a wet and eager mouth
tugging me apart at the seams.
Here, I hover alone in the blue forever–
unused to the world, the people in the world–
the ways in which most will vanish
with a simple word or touch
unexpected as a gentle rain.
Time and again, the hungry earth calls me back,
beckons like the moon coaxes the tide to shore
with its breathless siren song.
Our hearts all sip at that dark place,
thirsty and aching for touch, for warmth
and the deep red pluck of love.
Perhaps this is what reminds us
to wear our skins for awhile,
to be human.


Amber Decker is the author of two volumes of poetry, Sweet Relish and Lost Girls. Her work has been featured internationally in venues both in print and online. In her spare time, she can either be found at the gym or parked in front of her Playstation. Amber spends her days disguising herself as a diligent student of English literature; she lives in West Virginia with a spoiled dog and an evil cat.

Stella Rothe is 26 and currently studying English and philosophy in Rochester, Michigan. Her photography and writing has most recently been published in Ceremony, Pink Panther Magazine, Nain Rouge, and BAC Street Journal.

  • Gorgeous work. My favorite line is right there in the beginning, whisking me into the piece: “to whisper of my unraveling.” Understated, yet powerful choice of words.

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