Susan Jo Russell

Cannonball Jellyfish on New Smyrna Beach
by Susan Jo Russell

Like scarves that have run and bled
all down the beach, rows of them
under the violent sun
where the dog noses its way

down the beach, between the rows
of the massive stranding.
The dog noses its way,
its ears quiver as if it hears

the mass of them, stranded,
sighing for the great wave that doesn’t come.
When its ears quiver, does it hear
their longing for the luminous dark—

a great sigh for the wave that doesn’t come.
Scent of brine in the rising heat: lives ebb,
longing for the luminous dark
all afternoon. The dog sleeps, lulled

by the scent of brine. In the rising heat, lives ebb
like scarves that have run and bled.
All afternoon the dog sleeps, lulled,
under the violent sun.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 23, Issue 2.

Susan Jo RussellSusan Jo Russell is a mathematics educator from Somerville, MA. Her poems have appeared in Bellingham Review, Chautauqua, Leon, Passager, Slant, The Comstock Review, and elsewhere, and she has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poem, “Tree,” won the 2018 Amy Lowell Prize from the New England Poetry Club. Her chapbook, We Are Not Entirely Abandoned, is published by Finishing Line Press. She co-directs the Brookline (MA) Poetry Series.

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