A cold enough ocean to puff
breath out into squeals.
No sand but pebbles and wine—
soft pink in a thick glass tumbler.

At night you bought white
almond taffy by the pound,
stuck to the sides
of a paper bag and you folded

yourself into the city’s stone wall,
back pressed against a notch
left open for archers. You read
with sweet hands

so that now the whole trip
is sugar and cold water,
even though there must
have been a hotel, meals

worth remembering:
salty ham and hard cheese.
But blue does that—overtakes.

Years ago, you were nothing
but a mouth and wave.


Maggie Blake Bailey has poems published or forthcoming in American Poetry Journal, Foundry, A-Minor Magazine and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Bury the Lede, is available from Finishing Line Press and her full-length debut, Visitation, will be available from Tinderbox Editions in the summer of 2019. She lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband and two small children.  For more work, please visit and follow her @maggiebbpoet on Twitter.