The Face in the Sea

by Liz Nakazawa


A town that lets the dead stay where they are

and agrees  that the heart is simple:

it starts to tick and then it



A town full of folks,

like the fisherman,

one fisherman with a daughter

and the daughter, remembered,

out in the waves

a face in the sea, she said, out in the waves:

floating on the water, that water over fish,


fish over algae, algae over flagellum

flagellum beside hermissenda

the face in the storytelling sea, sea with veils of  foam.


This town has few painters

and one wanted to paint that face in the sea

but the daughter objected to mimicry


and so, she said let the face stay

floating, philosophizing,

bobbing back and forth, like a maritime metronome,

quivering sometimes with pleasure,

alternating the novel and the familiar,

the melancholy and the blissful,

patient in an arpeggio of waves,

beckoning towards the silent

movie score: the shore


the face

watching over the town full of fisherman, the town which understands,

agreeing, about hearts, harbors, ticking, nets and seas.

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