There's a stamp of the world on the back
of my hand, but one third is missing; the Atlantic
spills into my skin and paints my veins even
bluer. I have to tell my boyfriends
I have the ocean in me. My mother will press
her lips to my forehead and decide if I'm salty.
Veins rise, firm streaks of Appalachia.
Florida shrinks; Cuba smears. I fear for the womanly
archipelagos: cowering gazelles, legs folding.
Nicole Steinberg is co-editor of LIT and Web Director at BOMB. Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Barrow Street, Gulf Coast, No Tell Motel, Eleven Eleven, Barrelhouse, Spooky Boyfriend, and elsewhere. She hosts and curates EARSHOT, a Brooklyn-based reading series dedicated to emerging writers, and lives in Queens, NY.