FIVE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN

Excerpt from Sanctuary by Donika Kelly.

The ocean, I mean, not a woman, filled
with plastic lace, and closer to the vanishing
point, something brown breaks  the surface—human,

maybe, a hand or foot or an island
of trash—but no, it’s just a garden of kelp.
A wild life.

This is a prayer like the sea
urchin is a prayer, like the sea
star is a prayer, like the otter and cucumber—

as if I know what prayer means.