The Full Moon Sea of Yourself by Sam Wallen

praise for your call
the way you reached the center
of a woman dreaming
slipped your way in tidal
began pulling me too
with the full moon sea of yourself
toward the glimmering horizon of hope
that keeps us moving toward
what seems impossible to reach
toward every present
and disappearing body
of water

praise for your salinity
buoyant still in our insanity
praise for your distillation

praise for brine shrimp
all the birds I don't know how to name
and that special kind of sand
that exists nowhere else on the planet
Oolitic
a name that sounds like reverence enacted
a reverence one can hold
or let flow
through a hand

praise for your ancient girth
your narrow valley hips
stretching up Parley's Canyon
across the Continental Divide
into the Rocky Mountain plateau
praise your wide Wasatch arms
your igneous gateway
that has always led me
home

praise for your witnessing
me learn how to ski like one of the boys
praise for your witnessing
me marry a man I love
praise for your offering
a pink, indigo orange sky painted sunset
to the beginning of a new friendship
with a poetic soul friend 

praise for your teaching
me how I too might become
hospitable, and perhaps
irreplaceable to the entire
sea of creation--breath
of human and non-human
beings, alive

praise for your absence
becoming presence
becoming absence
becoming presence

The Great Salt Lake has lived on the periphery of Sam’s life. Born in Wyoming, she traveled through the Salt Lake Valley countless times and stared out the window at the the distant, ever-present glimmer.  From afar, the lake is leading her to bear witness and take poetic action to support other disappearing and molested bodies of water near her.

Her verse is part of irreplaceable, a collective prayer of praise calling for the restoration of Great Salt Lake.

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