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With sea salt I drew the five-pointed star
and then stepped inside. I too am the heir

of nine sisters and their nine waves. El Mar-
La Mer-El Mar:
they sing it like a prayer

but it’s still conjure. I know the help curled
kelp brings wrapped around my wrist. But unlike

Mer-lin I’ve been exiled from the dreamworld
of this surge. All that which gets pulled, tide-like,

like the moon, have all forgotten my name.
I still think that love can heal the mischief

others have caused here. I still give a damn.
El Mar-La Mer-El Mar: prayer to reclaim

wreckage; prayer that with the sea and enough
of your love I won’t need a pentagram.

El Mar is the Spanish term for the sea and La Mer the French. In the ancient Arthurian legends the wizard Merlin was, “born of the nine sisters of the cold sea, and cast up on the beach by the ninth wave.” There is a type of kelp, Nereocystis, that gets washed ashore on the beaches near where my parents live. It looks like a bull-whip ending in a large bulb with finger-like fronds radiating from it. As a child I’d wrap a bit of the whip-end around my hand and feel the sea pulsing inside.