Woman in a Boat by K. E. Allen
Winner of the 2004 PSA Chapbook Fellowship
Woman in a Boat by K. E. Allen, selected and introduced by Robert Creeley.
Edition: 500 copies of the winning books were printed by the Prolific Group and designed by Gabriele Wilson.
Splashes of light
illumine the sunken wall
of a closed-down seaside motel.
Shore lights, tinted red, flash
through rents in the window shades,
brushing faded yellow bedsheets.
The light turns, to orbit around
a woman stepping into a boat.
Knowledge is faith, says Augustine.
All the light sinks. Starfish are eating it.
They fan their arms like wings, their mouths,
barbed and fish-bright. They suck the light
with salt-sharp tongues; they are silver kites.
The woman swing the oar. It is not the light,
star-eaten, whirling, that helps her see.
Shoal water, mudcommon, circles
the shrinking rope of starfish,
their phosphorescence pearling off
the rock she rows toward, then away from.
Belief is perception, argues the woman.
She rows against the inward tide
of the black shoals. Nodding,
the woman in the boat
hums a little nothing, a song.
All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of the author.