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the madrigal, volume i

helen jenks and tomás clancy


by helen jenks

I long for the sea.


This land is incessant, unceasing;

dirt and soil clings to ugly, blemished skin,

creeping under nail-beds of bitter and bloodied



I tremble and quake and writhe and burn

in the toiling heat of the day-long sun, 

Quick! ––


absolve the catastrophe of this pitiful existence

and let me slink back into the brooding depths of the sea––


sleek-skinned and silver, slippery and speckled,

an enviable perfection of nature in the

foam of the fickle northern waves. 


Alas, one day.

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