Photo by Pat Tompkins


by Felicity White

Fika on Marstrand Island, Sweden

After coffee and buttered bread,
we slide closer to a salted pool,
dip our fingers into the gray, still
water edged by rocks worn soft.

Weightless jellyfish don’t scatter
as I expected. They idle. We stroke their meaty tops,
push fingertips into transparent flesh, watch
wispy response of tentacle ribbons flailing
welcome, slow down, stay.


StarDate: August 27
— Moon and Aldebaran

The light of a single star can sail on the wind
of a thousand years before it reaches your eyes
tonight. Learn from this past, this history of

distance and expelled heat, its effects remaining
as a single dot in an ancient constellation. It can’t burn
you from here. The star you see is already dead: all

gas, dust, and debris buried in vellum darkness.
Looking up, you won’t see the explosion of the past,
just that small star in the eastern sky winking at you.


About the photographer: Pat Tompkins  is an editor in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her essays, poems, and fiction have appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, Mslexia, Modern Haiku, and other publications.