Permanent Change of Station

by KATE GASKIN

I bought a little wooden house on a bay and watched moon jellyfish throb beneath the dock and out the other side as you held the baby in your arms. I watched moon jellyfish throb upon the rock wall where they snagged themselves as you held the baby in your arms and turned to place your hand in mine upon the rock wall where we snagged ourselves— our marriage, the baby—and then you left after you turned to place your hand in mine in our house in Omaha. Outside snow was falling on our marriage, the baby—and then you left. Who says a military wife is strong? In our house in Omaha, outside the snow was falling, and even in Qatar the sand was cold. Who says a military wife is strong? I fainted in the bathroom, dreamed of Florida, but even in Qatar the sand was cold, and you were gone for months and months while I fainted in the bathroom, dreamed of Florida, held the baby to my breasts, and then, one day, when you were gone for months and months I bought a little wooden house on a bay.

KATE GASKIN’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Cimarron Review, Guernica, Puerto del Sol, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Blackbird among others. She is a recipient of a Tennessee Williams Scholarship in poetry to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, as well as the winner of The Pinch’s 2017 Literary Award in Poetry. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama.