by Carl Philipps, The Kenyon Review



I miss the sea.

I miss the storms
that stopped there.

How much is luck, again opening,
and luck shutting itself down, what we
never expected, or only sort of did,
or should have?

The windfalls of my mistakes sweetly rot beneath me.

Two hawks lift—headed north—from my highest bough.



So he’s seen the blizzard that the future
looks like, and gotten lost,
a little. All the same— 

he gathers the honeysuckle in his arms,
as for a lover. Cloud of bees,
of yellow.

His chest, blurring bright with it.

Who’s to say brutality’s what he’ll be wearing,
when he goes?



There’s a light that estrangement,
more often than not, briefly
leaves behind it.

                         Then the dark—blue and damned,
erotic: here, where—done at last
with flashing like
power itself at first, then what power

comes to—the field
lays down its winded swords. —My head;
beside yours.


This poem is very special to me. It got me through those cold days in December when I was very sick and could only stay in bed, longing for the day when I will finally see the ocean again.

I took these photos with a disposable camera on New Year's Day. The tides were so huge, the light so luminous, you can't help but feel your heart expand to contain it all. 

Poem is taken from The Kenyon Review, Winter 2014, Volume XXXVI.


  1. Beautiful Odessa! And you always take the most poetic pictures. <3

  2. What timing - I just put a book of his poems on hold at my library, right before reading this!
    This one's lovely, thank you for sharing it. I can't wait to read more of him.

  3. Thank you for sharing this -- I love it.