Bioluminescence in Newport Harbor

When the water glints like onyx
       shushing the dock, empty
            sailboats huddle and rock,

when a red-winged
       blackbird tricks us
               with its flare of dahlia,

lavender sand dollar
       washes ashore
               unbroken, when

the amber moon swells,
       catches us turned in
               on our worry,

and the horizon
       reveals a violet-
               orange ribbon,

the electric blue plankton fill,
       overfill with twilight,
               minuscule radiant bodies

limn the black bay.
       We gather
               on the gritty deck.

Burdened by our hidden
       unkindnesses, we turn
               our eyes toward illumination.


January Pearson lives in Southern California with her husband and two daughters. She teaches in the English department at Purdue Global University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Notre Dame Review, Rust + Moth, Atlanta Review, Rayleigh Review, Borderlands, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, The American Journal of Poetry, The Cape Rock Review, and other places.