Have you ever been in a small ocean,
seen familiar white stars
hidden deep around the long banks of coral?

Snow crabs and sea urchins huddled on all sides.
Over the water, thin shadows twitch and glide.

There is another ocean growing inside that small ocean,
full of silence, brown cotton-grass, sopped
with white foam.

On the strand beside the toss
and stretch of each cast off wave
a small goat obediently waits.

Told to do this, by what, by whom?
His waiting keeps the oceans apart. 


Have you ever seen the small ocean inside the other ocean?
White stars, coral banks thick with crabs, sea urchin,
shadows twitching past. 

Beside the strand, the goat—
Waves turning over.  And the goat, the goat, 
the goat, carried away.


Mary Lou Buschi

Michelle Butler, Amphitrite (encaustic painting)

Artist's Commentary:

This poem, like many of the other poems in Ukiyo-e, Mary Lou Buschi's new chapbook, takes place in a fluid world, (in utero), so I wanted to depict that world when it breaks apart.  The fluidity of pigmented wax made it the perfect medium to capture the confusion, sadness, and loss of control in this poem.