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  • Writer's pictureHannah Hinsch

Ino: A Poem

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

published in Lingua journal

I sit at his ship-helm and trace sea-foam with my veil’s edge— just as easily, I can call the brine from drowning lungs and leave him gasping on distant gold sands. What to make of wine-soaked waves, those pithy offerings? I let them run between my fingers. The moment the arch of my foot touched water, I became sea-maiden, wife to none, who braids her hair with kelp ripped from Oceanus’s chilled halls, right from shore-bound nymphs. I string their amber beads and pink shells between my breasts and let them drink salt. Siren-led sailors cry my name— gull-voices— and I wrap their wrists with my salt-soaked scarf to pull them from the sea-wrack: Poseidon’s insolent foam he conjures just to see me move. Will I be his Amphitrite? Calm his waters with a song? Or do I sing to men instead? Waves bear me forth with cupped shell-hands, I their pearl; thus, I haunt your waters— guiding pirates and kings alike so that your man can return home, safe in his bed, still dreaming of my cold hands.

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