Look over your shoulder for the hustle of words.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


His hands always smelt of fish.
The ropes would run out through his fingers, their fray
Splintery quick.
The boat falling away into dark water as though
His body on the shore propelled it.
He didn’t think of high things, of nature’s accents but of
Pipe stuffing and the hefty bread his wife’s thighs were.
His hands knotted in them,
his big knuckles like chunks
Of sea stone. Her tangled mane like foam he
Grasped at.

His hands always smelt of fish.
By the fire, at night, she would place herself beside
His work-broken body, his shirt off, the red of his beard
threaded with ember in the hearth’s churning thrum on their faces.
It curled around his ears.
Her fingers would go there to tease the strands straight
And he would growl like a young dog.
Snap at her fingers.

Their laughter lit the thatched hut with
An unintelligible, old mirth that the sea knew well.
It moved against its rocks, moaning.
Identities written on it, afloat.

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