Note-Taking While Listening to “The Dock of the Bay”

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Cold hemocoels of the mollusk,
ambergris lanced from a demigod’s head,

ballasts shifted according to the tide.
Long necks in Styrofoam

filled with ice.
The sea produces grey scales

no animal can wear.
The eyes have microcosmic

temperaments so that to speak
of storms must be a literal act,

a description indifferent to
the eventuality of wreckage

and submersion, the steady
leach of summer. A freight

of stone trudges further into
depths over the course

of an afternoon. I can name
every kind of wave that carries it.

Cal Freeman is the author of the books Fight Songs (Eyewear, 2017) and Poolside at the Dearborn Inn (R&R Press, 2022). His writing has appeared in many journals including The Oxford-American, River Styx, Southword, Passages North, and Hippocampus. He currently serves as Writer-In-Residence with Inside Out Literary Arts Detroit and teaches at Oakland University.

NOVUS Literary and
Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN