Mindy Hood


Hidden behind the rock

I find the soft abandoned selkie skin.

The fur is wet with drops of brine,

and the land’s fresh dew


on the whiskers, which lie smooth

and straight

across the folds of

empty skin.


I pull it from the mossy hole,

up from the bed of smooth, worn pebbles

 and watch the dark fur

gleam brown

in the sea-grey light.

I turn to climb

away from the sea

and the gulls cry witness to my theft.


Curtains of foam wash the shore

to the rhythm of the waves

a mirror to the silver lines

in the shifting sea

of slate grey sky.

They stroke the border

between earth and sea.


gray, black and brown

tumble beneath the surf.


There are footprints on the beach,

a woman’s


and barefoot.

The waves wash away the hollows from her toes

and the dent of her heel.

She was never there

for all the people know.

But the ocean is salty because of her

and the breakers understand the pain

of brushing a world they cannot touch.


The house rests quiet as I come.

The windows’ glass is buried beneath ivy

and sea salt blown in on the breeze.

This place is locked

 away from the water,

and the ocean calls for the skin,

turning and striking the shore.

The wind howls for it,

for the chance to slip

from ocean to earth

and land to sea

 to cross the shifting border

and move between the worlds.


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