A Poem By Peach Delphine

Without chart or compass-

Wind empties door you once walked through
wind empties mouth you once breathed into,
wind empties pine tops, spinning off blue
bifurcation, sea and sky clamping each day,
our bread of ash and cornmeal, salt and bits
of plastic, black skillet shimmering sun hot,
smoking collection plate.

Sea falls on itself, stumbling on shore,
wind swallowed, sea washes up our names,
eyes the color of wave in motion, it is uncertain
how the surface closed, an undulating
mirror narrowing into a fist, shell of moon
shell of ear curled beneath this hand,
unhinged from limb, lemon or tangerine,
it is hard to recall what the wave said.

Lightless uncoils the ache in the chest,
settles in the belly, flowers from hands,
amongst the palms, we measure sand,
we number the grains of what has been left
undone, what we neglected to say,
lightless is how we introduce ourselves,
wide eyed, luminescent in the depths
of flesh and word.

Sloughed up on the night shore,
not yet the season of turtles crawling
out of the current, burying another clutch,
sea provides an apron of sand to bury
the young, self excavation being the first task
of any hatchling, where we wake most days
to the hungry cries of gulls and a lonesome
breeze, bone hollow, lingering in palmetto.

Unspooled and tangled, catspaw wind
pacing mangrove, fiddler crabs in all the shades
of leaf and shell, wave their one mighty claw,
everyone awaiting the return of sea,
slowly under the drifts of sand, carapace
of longing slowly forming, the desire for open
water, a treeless sky, a constantly receding
horizon, an endless motion, we dream of waves,
constellations, starlight and wind, we dream
and the wave speaks, sea awaits our arrival,
rain sluiced all our wounds till only shell
remains, whispering voice of wave,
navigation is how we speak of our journey,
a moonless night and we depart, wind
never silent, tide never empty, the promise
of return, inscribed on our bones.

Peach Delphine is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast. Can be found on Twitter at: @Peach Delphine

Banner: “Horizon/Line” an image by Robert Frede Kenter (c) 2016/2021. Twitter: @frede_kenter

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