local_library Undercurrent

by C. Dianne Long

Published in Issue No. 3 ~ April, 1996

You drifted toward her
through a white foam cloud
I couldn’t see if you were smiling
the murky water was too thick
but I longed to see a frown.
I squinted until crows feet appeared
the waves crashed and left
All sealed with a kiss
I think I heard you call her dear.

The ceremony is over
I’m still choking on my objection
white, powdery and dry in my throat
warm saltwater doesn’t ease the suffocation
Unless you’re in the glass
Swimming toward me
my driftwood
Eyes sparkling
through a cloudy sea.

You reach through the water
All I see is golden lead
Circling your finger
And hovering above your head
My saint of sorrow
You’ve killed my dreams
And swallowed my memories
Like an undercurrent
Pulling yesterday
from tomorrow.

Swim back, yellow-finned man
to your goldenfish
Waiting in the coral
Still dressed in white
You’ve circled long enough to be fed
the sun’s gone down
the sharks are out
I’m alone
the water’s red.

account_box More About

C. Dianne Long was 29 years old at the time these poems were published. She was born and raised in Memphis, where she attended Memphis State University. She has been writing poetry since the age of seven -- and for the most part has kept her work a secret. These poems were her first published works.