top of page
Lost in the Pacific
J.D. Isip

Nicola Mazzuia

    I never thought I’d be so tired.


                                    Jules, St Elmo’s Fire

Before I was afraid of the ocean,
I’d swim in it. No thought of the depth
or its many ways of killing me. Once
I was young and brave or foolish,
kept going away from the voices onshore
telling me to stay where it is safe, to stay

close to land
                    close to home
                                               close enough

until it all went silent. Out so far
the voices stop, you look around
and cannot find your way, what seemed
so clear just moments before an impulse
kept you moving in any direction
than the one you knew. When you pass

the shallow waters
                     the bright buoys
                                                the rope

marking where you should end, 
you start to feel tired, the seascape
a cold, black unknown that goes on
forever in all directions, your panic
a ripple on the surface that dies out
before it reaches back to land. Look
up at the sun, catch your breath, listen

for the seagulls
                    for the clicking pod
                                               of dolphins

who somehow don’t terrify you
even though they are enormous, could
bat you down twenty feet below. Could
be you’re too tired to care, could be 
it wasn’t dolphins at all. But then
how did you get back? And how can you
explain what it was like out there? Why
you don’t swim anymore.

                                            You don’t have to.

J.D. Isip’s full-length poetry collections include Kissing the Wound (Moon Tide Press, 2023) and Pocketing Feathers (Sadie Girl Press, 2015). His third collection, tentatively titled Reluctant Prophets, will be released by Moon Tide Press in early 2025. JD lives in Texas with his dogs, Ivy and Bucky.

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • bsky
  • Twitter

Meet the author: J.D. Isip

an interview conducted by Otherwise creative non-fiction and memoir editor Laura Moran.

bottom of page