The Difference Between Oh and O

It always starts with a sailor, the mermaid
tattooed on his arm. He talks to it, says
O night, O sea - you are twittery and long.
He means O love, you are long
He means O sea, I hate you.

Hes been gone for six months,
has been waiting for her, his wife,

the thought of it all.

He decides when he sees her,
he will ration her
body, take small pieces
so that she will last him
and last him.

O body, he thinks of his own.
Oh body, when hes thinking of hers.

Once hes had her
in his arms, he loves the sea
again. Loves the night
for its undulating pleasures.
As he sails back into the water,
he cries:

Oh night, Oh sea, O love

to have it all
finally, and at once.

Kimberly Grey is a poet, living and writing in New Jersey. She holds a B.A. in Literature from The Richard Stockton College of NJ and an MFA in Poetry from Adelphi University. She was the recipient of the 2008 and the 2009 Don Axinn Award in Poetry as well as the 2006 Michael Lanza Prize. She has taught Creative Writing Workshops for Groundworks for Success in Brooklyn, NY, as well as Poetry workshops for high school students in New York and New Jersey. Her first manuscript entitled The Opposite of Robot is Light is near completion. You can find her work in the upcoming issue of Dearsir, []. (

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761