A Poem by Mala Rai

Alexis Applin’s painting, "Isolation"
(Ekphrastic accompaniment to Alexis Applin’s painting, “Isolation”, 2020)

tofino sunrise, 7am
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last night i couldn’t sleep / a march storm rankled ashore / soldering doubt neck deep
harmonies echoed in the void / i tried to sing along in my head / an aural polaroid
tangled torso writhing in the sea / bequeathing treasure and secrets / anchored to me

kicking to the surface / mid haze sleep paralysis / center attraction in a neoprene circus
unleashed and my board is lost / freed from expectation / some of my minutes are unbossed
from shaved cedar a frog leaps / tows me by the hair to a totem / where I carve my dreams deep

light stirs some envy / before the phone alarm triggers / the safety of blankets in a frenzy
windshield wiper the sleet / anxious thoughts trim the warmth / sandpipers wheet-wheet-wheet
one eye open to let in the sun / voice weighs heavy / as crystal shards to mirror what you’ve done


Mala Rai is a poet, drummer, psychology student, and technical writing hired gun on the West Coast. Her most recent poems have appeared in Eclectica Magazine, High Shelf Press, and Anti-Heroin Chic. You can follow her on Instagram @malaraipoetry

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