The Shape of Yearning


Brazilian flamingoes, 2016 (c) Gina Roitman


Call of the Loon

Come back.
It’s cold here without you.
When I bend my neck to drink
there is no reflection in the water.

Come back to the wild.
When I call your name
it ricochets off trees,
slips down the bank,
squats mute as stone on the lily pad where
a bullfrog once left a faint depression.

Come back.
I long to be near you.
I tilt my bill to drink the stars,
sorrow throbbing in my throat,
my back bare as the hollow in the bed
beside me.


After the pink

the lip curls
a seashell’s salutation
so pale, so pink
a smile
the promise of shelter
the entrée to the cave
where secrets are stowed
warm whispers
soft and wet.
and after the pink
the abyss


This is so difficult to put into words

This is so difficult to put into words
believe me, I’ve tried
I’ve come to the table with the best of intentions
only to find my words dribbling out
deflated as a beach ball with a slow leak
a brown pelican with fishing filament wrapped around her beak.
Slow starvation.

I am hungry for words to explain
why the world echoes like a hollow shell
why there is no hope of finding
treasure beneath the wet sand.

I come empty-handed although I have always believed
I bring something to leave behind.
Now, it’s a hunger
for putting it into words.


Lost Gate, 2018 (c) Gina Roitman