Through bamboo screens you’ll see the beach,
The beach where self-awareness opens
Slowly, like a barnacle unfamiliar with
Relinquishing its briny truisms,
Seagulls with pearls in their teeth
Buffer in time with the sea and beat
In a chorus the sunken skin of their souls
Like raucous musicians drunk on
Their own instruments. Love’s apogee,
From the beach you will free the sea,
Bound by corroding shackles, a monotony
Of men and desalinating prophesies.
Bold, profligate sea, you tossed back
Illicit passion on to the beach unapologetically,
As if a shark’s fin toughened or the Mother
Of All Wisdom, as silent as driftwood
And as memory complicit.
The curve of the earth was unimpressed
And distant, unimpressed by the sharpness
Of white horse crests, we shared
A heartbeat within an empty cockle’s nest,
Held to your ear, coveted, caressed
With shells, and we were awash with love
And sins across miles of blue emptiness,
As when your voice, or a semblance
Of your voice, remained in the room
While you were nude in a kitchen upstairs,
Garnishing dishes, asparagus spears
And salted North Atlantic fish;
And as when your rings fell into my stomach,
Jettisoned treasure, and the scent of varnish
On your toenails, a scent padlocked
In my buried chest forever.
Through bamboo screens you looked
Into the moons of me, and I was lost once more
In the intimacy of quiet eyelids.
On that inattentive sea’s behalf I listened
While into my widening ear you whispered
Directions for finding our love again
On four far and final islands.