Rachel Dacus


I saw a one-cup teapot in a store
shaped like a fish I once met
under the waves at Puako Beach.
He was short as a thumb but had a longer name
than the curving shore. His breaker blue scales
and gold stripe from fin to fin
startled me -- that and his painted eye
under surf frothed kettle-singing water.
A swift eraser, he cleaned off
my heart's faded script.
We danced between the reef's knees,
flirting through shuttered shadows.
After the purchase was rung up,
I took him home, filled him up
with leaves and bubbles and he ruminated
until tea steeped me dark and deep.
Flicking a cloud-silver fin,
he swam away. I lifted my cup
and drank crackling syllables of sea.

Copyright 2000, Rachel Dacus

The poetry of Rachel Dacus has appeared in Blue Unicorn, Coracle, Midwest Quarterly, Defined Providence and The Portland Review. Her collection, Earth Lessons, was published by Bellowing Ark Press in 1998. She is a fundraising consultant to San Francisco area hospitals.

Switched-on Gutenberg/Vol. 4, No. 2