Sara Woods

St. Venerius, the Hermit

I've been collecting them since my husband died, I say. He was a sailor, I say. He died at sea, I say. The man at the flea market booth nods as he tears off strips of newspaper and rolls the figurines up. Today I bought three. One red porcelain souvenir lighthouse from Tybee Island in Georgia and two unmarked little beauties. I turn the first over in my hand while he wraps up the others. Tybee Island, GA, it says on the front. I think about where I'll put them. My house no longer has people in it since my husband died. He was a sailor, I say. He died at sea, I say. I put all the lighthouses in my home. The lighthouses are so he can find his way back, I say. The flea market man nods and asks if I want the Tybee house wrapped too. I'll hang on to it, thanks. I head back toward the train. I can't drive anymore. The doctor said I can't drive anymore. I told him I've been driving since before he was born. He told me I can't drive anymore. On the train I sit next to a middle aged woman in a beaded cardigan. I hold the lighthouse and peek in the window. There is a little man in there. Hello, I say, softly so my seatmate won't hear. Have you seen my husband? I say. He's a sailor. He died at sea.

Sara Woods is a transgender poet and artist living in Portland, OR. She is author of the books Sara or the Existence of Fire (Horse Less Press, Fall 2014) and Wolf Doctors (Artifice Books, Spring 2014). Her poetry and collaborations are published or forthcoming in Salt Hill, Gulf Coast, Denver Quarterly, Guernica and Columbia Poetry Review. Find her online at