The Ocean in a Teacup

The Ocean in a Teacup

When gravity touches me, I exist.I exist
when sand spirals up my spine in circular pleasures
and serenity is security; a queer mirror
built for looking out and looking in.

What is invisible is audible—is fluid.
The nerves that ring are the base; the trouble. They sing
so we don't have to; they play on skin. A scarlet aura, in time, is heard.
Naked by the sea, I understand how storms are settled—how visions are true,
how it flows, how it falls
through my chest—a fluid, energetic motion—
it informs me: the ocean has a floor.

When my lips move to this crushing melody, my hands open,
release the notion that I am alone and this moment is real
the way my skin is real. It gives shape to nourishment;
meaning to depth: a paradox—the eccentric binary of the tide.

Some bodies are not firm but fluid: bodies of water;
my body. Some bodies are not yet: this body; my body.
Some bodies are not clear: deep bodies; murky bodies; my body.

If the sound of breathing keeps me visible in the dark, then who am I to question it?
This body is fluid as a vision and as loud as the ocean
in a teacup; as visible as thunder in a shell.

Ariel Basom


Ariel Basom writes poems with a focus on difference—the feelings and experiences that move us to be more human. He is interested in identity—those eccentricities that put us squarely in the greater whole of the continuum as well as mark us as individuals. Ariel lives in Seattle.