When I wake, it’s to hear the last siren,
receding to its distant causeway, banks of
salt, their bygone shackles of sand.
I hear, dig out what calls to you down
to an aragonite shore—stay gentle, as
you clean away the remains of so many
broken plates; the profound struggles
of timid fossils. See? Here’s a boundary
of long, but permanent, staycations.
“Exhume,” is too strong a word; but to
recover such monitions and portents, laving,
as they do, to teem over shorelines of dreaming,
his fingers—your fingers, I’ll sigh—are what dig
to me; inquire behind an exhale of foam. You may
recognize the body—it’s as polite now as a hand-
washed sweater. It was never necessary to wear it.
I know. He was a listener. Presume that I will lift him
from under the chalk of his frame—he’s not going
anywhere, fast. You can see, his ears are scoured-
out by sand. There’s nothing between my hands
and his. Not a slick of silence. Stay confident,
and whisper: I love this shore that drew
your feet to me; washed your shoulders;
beached your raft of bones. You’ve been
safe, undercover, my love. I knew we’d run-in
this way, together—no question. I’m afraid that
—in moving toward this finish line—I’m inevitable.
© 2023 • R L • powell