Her shack, her entire life is salt
Her man, peppered by surf
Rolls in and out; to keep herself
She misses him as he bends his beard to her breast
And strokes his hair as he talks of the sea.
Fish he leaves in mountains twice a year
In a cupboard she opens by candlelight
In odd nights asleep and wild-eyed
They flop and twitch at the beat of her light
Each thump a day, a tick, a year
Knife-tailing through her hide of hope.
At night, when up to her knees in salt
She thinks of a thought she might send to his ship
That in her swam seas he could fish forever
And, leaning over his boat
He would see through the green bottle-neck
Her eyes alive, waiting, arms crossed
Over the stillness of mermaid depths
Such a vivid calling!
He would cry spit at the sun and dive down abubbled and bulging
His hair like a fan, gasping for a touch
A kiss to rob him of his passion for air
The bursting lungs, the bounding feet, forever the ocean their love…
This dream she dreams while salting at night
No tears in the halo of a single candle
Crooked planks like sailors sleeping in the wind.
Far in the darkness her man shouts at spray
Hauling his nets
He thinks of her twice before sunrise.