Yes, it’s the sea.
With its birdsong scattered like starlight
and those breezes– you know those breezes that
carry the sound of foghorns and halyards
from far away.
It’s the sea that holds it all together,
even when the winds pick up and
whip seagull cries around your ears and wide eyes
and with your face turned to the wind you catch
brief glimpse of memory like
the back of a hideous sea snake that you thought you’d escaped.
And we’d both stand on the shore and stare
as if intent alone could give us wings
or stop the restless fluttering that drove us forward.
That flutter of fear that drives people away.
to be in two places at once. Both
on my stoop, and on a shoreline
where each one of those
damned bird cries makes the
smell of seaweed and
fill my head.
And then he’s there, with big arms.
And I’m above it all
watching my little red boat get
smashed by the waves.
That night I dreamed that I was standing on the beach looking for my little red boat
when an army of crabs surrounded me and this time there was nobody there.
Death, it seems, stalks even the young.
Even death by crab. Which is a painful way to go I’ve heard.
There were so many nights like that
dreams of waves and dreams of being swallowed,
nights of being woken up and
those strong arms lifting me out
through the window
and then we’d lie on the deck
with our life jackets on,
looking up at the star light.
But there were also those nights where my tears would drop
faster than I could cry them
like the sea itself was
demanding her payment for being made of so much water
That’s what you get, it said,
should have gone with the sky, it said,
then your days would be filled with dreams and your eyes would be light like the sun.
And I’ll slip off the deck
into the blackness and float.
Cold, salty unknown.
Your tears taste like blood;
my currents run with salt water.