Poetry: sargassum by Louise Kim

There is beauty in release. A freedom in succumbing to the water that envelopes us. Louise Kim shows us, with rich texture and calming imagery, that there is a lushness in letting go. Looking up and glimpsing the light can make the rush of the world below feel peaceful. Perhaps what we want most is to be the fish darting by.


if i can’t keep my head above water,
at least i have the fish to watch.
hiding between leaves of seagrass,
they dart by, free.

sargassum floating above me,
brown bouquets of the sea.
clumps of vines, leaves,
round beads of air to stay afloat.

within tenderness, there is rage,
though you may not see it.
my fingers are pruning
and numb, but there is a bliss

to all of it. i know without looking
that rays of sun
still pierce through the algae,
still (barely) graze my skin.

i look up at slices of lightness,
at the promise of more fruitful days.
that’s for later, i tell myself,
while the world rushes out from below me.

Louise Kim

Louise Kim is an undergraduate student at Harvard University. Their Pushcart Prize- and Best of the Net-nominated writing has been published in a number of publications, including Chautauqua Journal and Panoply Zine. Her debut poetry collection, Wonder is the Word, was published in May 2023.

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