Issue Thirty-Eight - Summer 2021

Tidal Shift

By Whitney Cooper


A childhood spent evading his lumbering
footsteps. His eyes in the recliner
every evening, awaiting
any wrong movement—his ears
listening for some crude thought to escape my mouth.

Now we chuckle, tell jokes.
Years of icy fragments
melt into idle chatter.


The ocean blends green and blue
and green again, its depths undulating
under the morning sun. Blizzards of white
seagulls swarm the roaring coastline. Toddlers race
towards the water’s edge,
shrieking with joy at the expanding
and receding tide. I stay on the shore, mystified.

Can this be the same ocean as the night
before? Is this the same water,
at once all-encompassing and infinitely dark?

Copyright 2021 Cooper