Visiting Lighthouses

You and I have been married one week, and now
on the Three Capes Loop of the Oregon coast
what is important is calla lilies, herons at dusk
with their feet in low tide. The days are landscaped
with breakfasts, afternoons of sun and my hair
tied up, harbor seals eyeing us at Strawberry Hill.
We climb the twist of steps in the lighthouse
at Cape Meares, look at one another through opposite
sides of the original lens, now still and unlit, removed
from the memory of ships. At Heceta Head, we walk
past the haunted keeper’s house and up the hill
to where the lighthouse, its windows bricked in,
still blinks its pattern of flashes, a conversation of comfort
by which ship captains navigate their way around land.
We hear stories, lenses shipped here in molasses to keep
them whole, thrown overboard, buoyed to shore, unpacked
and polished until they lost their hoods of thick liquid,
arriving transparent at the lighthouse tower.
We are told how the keeper used to strain the kerosene
through silk so the lenses would not blacken as the light
burned. I watch you across the small room beneath
the active lens, think of the keeper welcoming the company
of ghosts, someone with whom to share this view of sky
and the white lines of waves gathering towards shore.

Brittney Corrigan’s poems have appeared in The Texas Observer, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Borderlands, The Blue Mesa Review, Oregon Review, Manzanita Quarterly, Hip Mama, Stringtown, and Many Mountains Moving, among others. She is the poetry editor for the online literary journal Hyperlexia and lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children. To read more of Brittney’s work, visit her website, here.