by Stephen Emmerson

If I lose my temper I may never find it.

It will melt into another person. A person

drowned in seaweed and oil. A person

without a home.

I could sleep on a washing line, or on a

rope in the sea. The beach is my doss

house, the city a memory. The sky peels

away, as though dry emulsion flaking

from distemper.

There is nothing there to replace the

clouds but the sound of a shell held to your

ear. The ocean inside us is red. Our veins are

full of starfish and plastic.

The doors in your house are open. The

doors in my house are closed. You prefer

landscapes, I prefer portraits. There is

really no difference between us.


Stephen Emmerson is the author of Comfortable Knives (KFS), Family Portraits, and Poetry Wholes (If P Then Q),  The Journal of Baal (Veer), and Invisible Poems (Zim Zalla). More information can be found here: