When the Sea Became Sky


The moon sits in the arms of the pines like a pearl tonight. Her glittering face bulges out from the swaths of sky, and a faint smile draws her cheeks up with hole-punched craters. She is full and beaming despite these scars, and her sister stars gallop around her in crashing waves of glassy crystals.

It is a brisk and sharp first hour after midnight, and my fur glistens like the insides of oyster shells. There are plenty of them below on the rocky shores. Sometimes I like to leave the warmth of these woods to clamor down to those sea-sprayed beaches, taking in the fact that these tides match the moon, which matches my own hues. I like to breathe in the sea salt and the damp sand and the shades of emerald sea glass. I just close my eyes and let my rugged mind expand and float up into the pooling galaxies above my ears. It’s peaceful up there, but it’s peaceful down there with the sea.

I am not supposed to do that.

I am supposed to only love the way the dirt presses into stamped prints under my running paws, and the way the pine needles feel like feathers when they land on my back. There is a certain magic in it, in these woods. It mystifies me- the way I can run and run as fast as falling rivers, and yet feel the trees move aside for me. Sometimes I stop my flight to rest my face against these silent guardians- their etched bark bathed in scents of Earth and night dew. I am home when I do this, and when I roam these amber-colored woods. But I will always have a deep love for the moon-soaked shoreline. It is more intimate, and it is just mine.

There is something to be said for places that are just our own. I think that’s why that glistening pearl of a moon loves the sky so much, and never comes down to find her oyster shell. She may be shaped from her beloved ocean, and she may have sway there, pulling the tides until her last phase, but her home is those velvety heavens that crown her birthplace- that endless beyond.

I wonder how she left her woods.

Sometimes I try to ask her; to ask her how she gained the strength to let go of herself and float up to the universe. I ask her how she made a new space for herself up there; how she made a place of her own. She never answers me, but when she is full like tonight, she reshapes herself into a perfect circle- the same circle that my mouth makes when I ask her my questions, and I swear she is howling back at me.


Emily Iris Degn is a multilingual poet, travel writer, artist, ecofeminist, and staunch supporter of wearing socks with sandals. She is from Fidalgo Island, WA but currently resides in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her loving partner and treasured collection of Ray Bradbury books. Her work can be found in many places, including the third edition of the For Women Who Roar book anthology and Lunch Ticket Magazine: Amuse-Bouche.