‘neath the ebb and flow of a tide,
your water-bitten skin
dripped in night’s inkwell.
Lay under her
and she’ll have seen the sun once,
warmer shoulders parting waves,
two eyes wide like cities
blanketed by stars,
breathing the same sky,
but in search for clearer seas.
She washes over you,
and half-light at dark
in Earth-spun sleep,
she’ll carry you from the shore
to set you free,
let you leave
like driftwood on the ocean.
“I love you in atoms,” I said.
I cannot tell you how it felt when I found you’d gone. You left no note, no footprint to say you came and went in the time between breaths. You took your words with you, smeared my notebook with stiff white paint so I’d no longer know how it felt to be inside you.
You should have taken the picture. I don’t need it to see you, or the way your coffee hair wisps and falls and cradles the perfect heart of your face. The loose-locked frame for your wine-barrel eyes scarring the underside of my own. “Make me black and white,” you’d say. And I did, but still you would breathe colour into the absolute; into the knitted wicker of everything you touched.
I’d watch the summer breeze weave its arms around you like no lover, writer or poem ever could. And how the moon would frame itself on your windowless wall just to watch you sleep. While I mixed brown, you blurred my palette of blues and reds with your thinly fleshed-out form and glossed our canvas in plump shocks of purple and mauve.
The rain beside me smashes like glass. I crack my fingers and remember the way you liked to pierce the crust of your crème brûlée with the cold tip of a spoon. I won’t shake you from these crystal bones; I know I loved you.
“I loved you in atoms,” I said.