Between Manhattan and the Sea

By Jeanine Stevens

                A painting by a patient

                of Dr. Carl Jung, 1920’s


Out her window, towers

gleam alabaster, yet cathedral doors

open to darkness.


Brilliant carmine spills on Bachelard’s words:


“Skyscrapers have no cellars,

unthinkable for a dreamer of houses.”


A Chagall poster inspires.

She adds a small island, abandoned


shack, blue fish and day star

swaying on a hooked sun.


With the sound of a mermaid’s

conch, hair grows long,

bright henna.


Sting of coral on her calf—

she enjoys the wound.


Songs of extinct shore sparrows

fill the horizon.


Clutching velvet bouquets,

she considers the itch,

newly formed scales beneath her thighs.




Jeanine Stevens is the author of Inheritor (Future Cycle Press), and Sailing on Milkweed (Cherry Grove Collections). Winner of the MacGuffin Poet Hunt (selected by Phil Levine), The Stockton Arts Commission Award, The Ekphrasis Prize and WOMR Cape Cod Community Radio National Poetry Award. Brief Immensity, recently won the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Award. Poems have appeared in The Curator, Evansville Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Chiron Review, Forge, Pearl, Stoneboat, Connecticut River Review, Provincetown Magazine and Rosebud. Jeanine recently received her sixth Pushcart Nomination. She studied poetry at U.C. Davis and California State University, Sacramento.

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