I have felt the blue tug of salt water–
we called it letting down your milk–
the mammarian pull while adjusting
the baby to the breast, but nipple
power is gone; instead, the sea
outside me tonight is a sucking ebb
and flow, the sunset blush no longer
a burst of joy on my chest but far away
on the horizon, winter beach fifty
degrees cold, augers slivered, starfish
with four arms not regenerated as shell
books say they’re supposed to be,
the beach buffeted by frightening rip
currents, the surfers say.

Along the way, disfigured by stretch
marks, caesarian sections, tennis missteps,
arthritis, over-indulgence, the full moon
a werewolf’s delight last night when I
woke screaming again, no, no, but my
life companion stroked my hair and
hushed me as I might have done so
many years ago with our infant children,
sh, sh, sh, like the waves as I sit here
on the cool night balcony with a glass
of sauvignon blanc, considering the sea.