ONE POEM – SJ Valiquette

Photo by Nariman Mesharrafa on Unsplash


the conversation

writing a love letter to the ocean is as singing an aria to a hurricane:
there is nothing in language for this.
no words for the way I mirror your tide
barefoot devotee of your ebb and flow
returning to your shore over and over
like children in the surf do-
learning where their legs came from and what they’re truly meant for
no words for salt skin as evidence of survival and origin story
of lovers in the waves in mid winter
sprinting back to a warm car and each other’s arms,
a single towel and gently-seasoned kisses
no words for wet hair like a rallying cry
to climb back into the womb of creation
kiss it recklessly inside out on its navel
to remind it that you’re grateful
like divers off cliff sides risking safety for buoyancy
no words for the cresting of an in-breath
giving up the bubble-gift of my lung full into undertow like an offering
the most precious thing I could ever give back to you but somehow never big enough to permeate the way it wants to
no words enough
so let it be I love you
let it be thank you
let it be I’m sorry
let it be I’m yours
over and over like a prayer
like a pulse
like a tide
never a letter, only ever a life





Sarah Jean Valiquette is a queer actor, internationally published poet and photographer, and the creator and curator of (re)markable project. She has studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Banff Centre for the Arts and has a BFA in theatre from the University of Victoria. Her work has been published in Oratorealis Magazine, Queer Dot, and in her first collection of poetry, “Little Rebellions” which came out in the spring of last year. You can find her online at

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