My Welsh ancestors ate a purple kind of algae
that clings to rocks and can be pulled out of the sea in long,
translucent sheets, like sloughing skin.
I imagine a man’s thick hands doing this work.
On a dim day, he stands among rocks exposed
by low tide and cuts the weed in large, slippery fistfuls,
while thinking of his wife and the fish-gut smell
of iodine frying in oil. His feet drift and slither as he presses
barnacle-eyed stones for their tangled hair.
Bit of miracle, this harvest: a vast and silent field of

Kathleen Kilcup’s poems have appeared in Boston Poetry MagazineThe Watershed ReviewThe Poet’s Billow, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Award. Kathleen holds an MFA in Poetry from UC Riverside and is currently pursuing an MAR at Yale University.