top of page


Chris McCann

The last ocean is not

an ocean at all

but a playground


to the weather

which has not been

good for years. Half-

submerged swings

and a set of rings

with blooms of rust,

a whisper from a passing

bus, scattering of needles

at obvious angles,

insistent wind. The school

of children in their bright

jackets and shiny shoes

is gone, and the reefs


to the heat. A world

of shifting tides, pure

and futile description,

the act itself of saying

what’s there and more

importantly what once was.

A graduating class with their fine

black robes. A field of fire.

A tattoo in black ink

on a wrist and then

smudged, effaced.

Don’t talk about

the bombs, which, even now,

fail to explode. The noiseless

sturgeon-like cars, the terrible

moon. Instead, lie down

in this salt and remember

how the sea used to be–

so clear, so calm,

so deep.

About the Author

Chris McCann's work has been published in Moss, The Pedestal Magazine, SmokeLong Quarterly, Noctua Review, and Salt Hill Journal. He lives on Bainbridge Island in Washington.

bottom of page