A Hundred Dolphins – by Livia Meneghin

The handrail is cold,
layers of white paint
underneath my fingertips.
Gulls back toward town
cry, while others glide
beside our boat, eager
to escape. I would
take your salt-coated hand,
my dear, from spotting
humpbacks, fin whales,
minkes; instead I'd
bring it into my lap. You
lean on my shoulder
while we follow
a hundred dolphins.
I would take off my clothes
and pull you into
Stellwagon Bank to see
seals up close. One
peeks her head out of the
water, admiring your hair,
sunbleached and wild.
I look into green eyes, decide
am I going to tell you?

And yet I hold on,
like snow and ice
in May in Gloucester,
peer at the water
and then dive, plunging
to find treasures below,
reach into the foam and
take rest with you.
The way you look at
me, and even the small
reach for my bag, softly
weigh on me. Ebb and
flow with love unspoken.
Navy seas filled with
a hundred questions.
Toss them aside,
the rushing unknown of
the North Atlantic. The
boat returns to shore,
evening. At dinner I sip
slowly, drink in every sound from
your lips.
To know you, across from me...
I'm going to tell you.

Livia Meneghin is an MFA candidate at Emerson College. She is the author of the chapbook, Honey in my Hair. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in tenderness lit, The Poeming Pigeon, Franklin & Marshall's AAR, and more. Born in Italy, she has lived in England, Greece, New York, Pennsylvania, and currently, Massachusetts, though she hopes to extend that list.

Art: when I question if I'm queer enough to be called queer, acrylic and marker on 24 X 18 inch canvas, 2019
Artist Statement: While the colors of this painting are bright and cheery, the layers and movement evoke in me the feeling of being unsettled. Questioning.