Florida child speaks to hurricane seahorses by Leah Claire Kaminski


when I walk the acre and dream of my nor’easters they’re on a harsher land; cattle called in to
the barn or covered in washes of dust at the fences, these storms come to us prairie people

and we’re happy if grizzled since they get us dripping in the cellars, keep the hares’ eyes
from scouring: but in my cypress house we’re the hard-dewed oak the coontie starch people,

and the tornadoes your tails whip up in the storm’s placid well, you’re joking my hurricane
with sly whirlpools—oh pine tree dade tree not shade tree hard-lump bark that scales us,

too, cracking to slivers and I want it and these stinking fertilizers dress my tea. I eat crabs crushed by
tires stringsuck mangoes dropped on deathgreen grass and I see you half-people

there, horse tails and scaly breasts, crowing in the round wind. I have a tail in my brain that will keep
growing, tail that will keep growing to switch, hard tail tribe

that will leave your bony bodies lumping mortar to drain, drain this swamp. I’ll
keep our horse-country, palm-farms. stoplights blinking as we push through them: seahorses,

scuzzy mermaids, you are for children and I no fool am grown, I’ll full it of checks of cubes give me
my mineral hose my milk-box my peninsular scar give me a dream of the country

in a lucite box that will always cover limestone swallets spare my hammock for boxy
churches stamped-out parks give me it trickster, trickster. here we’re all

wet enough already give me back my tree. its crust of bark peeled by me is white
and almost white, up for fire, wet, but hook-linked shadow but merpeople

when I want it I want it hardwood. girding such smooth concrete, soft upraised chanting of
tropical dream, what makes us belong here, hard


Leah Claire Kaminski lives in Orange County, noticing where it rhymes with her hometown of Miami, and also teaching writing at UC Irvine. Her work has appeared in Midway Journal, in Bellingham Review, in Bosque, in D.A. Powell & TJ DiFrancesco’s former wonder-of-magazines Lo-Ball, and elsewhere. She’s working to publish her first full-length manuscript, In case it’s catching it quick that’s important. You can catch her catching up on Twitter after a long hiatus, @leahkaminski.