Melissa Hotchkiss


Had I not blanketed the forest, my love
Had I not felled each tree and shrub

I may not have imagined rock, as home
Or I would not

Have had the strength to shift
From salt water, into fresh

Or entertain a puddle in place of a tide pool
And please understand

A ripple is not a wave, and each opposite
An overlap

The idea of “land” means “settle”
What it would mean…to settle

Bound to the tide chart, or moon


How Disorder Comforts Me

At mid–ocean ridge
                The seafloor spreads
Aware, uncontrollably

                Uncontrollably, comforts me

Melissa Hotchkiss is a poet, editor, photographer, and performer. Her first book of poems, Storm Damage, was published by Tupelo Press. Hotchkiss’s poems and prose have appeared in numerous publications, such as The American Poetry Review, The New York Times, Free Inquiry, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Poets for Palestine (an anthology), and others. She ran the Barrow Street Reading Series (1994–2002), has been an editor of the journal Barrow Street since it was established in 1998, and is a trustee of Barrow Street, Inc.