The Adirondack Review
Dorrit on Santorini

1.

The sea is like skin.
Beyond the balcony,
a blue surface bunches
and wrinkles. Confusion

stirs in currents struggling
for union, a trajectory
once ordained by Poseidon’s
trident, the bleached bone horn
of Artemis, electric pulse
of Zeus’s thumb.  It is
memory that drives these waves;

the gods not on display
in the British Museum
now dissolve in a toxic brown
vapor over Athens.


2.

The town of Thira
watches to the south
on this rock shaped to scythe
ethereal fields.  More towns
skim along the island’s scalp
like chalk deposits.  This is
what we mean to the rocks.

3.

You are not moved
by water, stale divinity,
or wrinkles in the skin.
Reclining in a sun-warmed chair
by the pool, you sink
into novels about alternate
earths not quite so aimless.
You are young and married,
healthy for now; you absorb
these stories without any thought
of sharing them with children.
You want none. Because skin

like seawater is changeable,
and brown legs and hair last
as long as a polaroid holds
its color, you reserve your future
for glimpses of galaxies without gods,
built on thought and light.


Melissa Frederick







The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poemsThe St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poemsThe St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
MELISSA FREDERICK teaches creative writing and literature in the MFA program at Rosemont College.  She received her Master’s degree at Iowa State University and is working toward a PhD at Temple University.  Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous publications, including the Crab Orchard Review, DIAGRAM, The Cream City Review, Kalliope, and The Pedestal and is forthcoming in the Mid-American Review.