top of page

Sarah Merrow​

A Place Unmarked

Magic is a place unmarked,

                    guarded by children

                            racing roller-skates over cracked sidewalks

   pursued by chocolate wolves

                                   with cherry maws, uniformed cops

                                             -- or heedless adults

                                                        already up to their hips

                                                                    in joy.

These are dangerous waters --

           holy worlds you’re doomed to dream

                     because you are human and too timid to stare

                                 long at the bum selling you

                                             the depths of his tan heart.

                                 But enter and sight sharpens,

           chatter runs fast backwards

and you see the beach,

a narrow land

           alive with wavy water games,

                     dotted with emerald and gold

                                  cottages without attics.


           At the edge of this ocean

there is freedom

          bracketed by cliffs

                     cut with ancient stairs

                                cobbled without mortar,

                                             vines of red bougainvillea

                                                     rising in the heat and sparkle.

                                                     Come winter,

                                              the chasm will drip with

                                prisms, a Japanese painting in azure and ice,

                      the firs up top

           stunted with longing.

bottom of page