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Between tide and hammock


Peach Delphine

Where salt creek once flowed
into Gulf, draining cypress
as the mouth of hours, slack jawed,
swallowed tide. Immolation buried in bone,
kindling shaved from the frame, linkages
of joint, of tendon. Delicate shells
strung on fishing line, dangling
from the eaves of this house
buried in shadow, buried in wind
salt worn, sand scoured.

We spin cobwebs into confections
we chew on the doorframes
of this abandonment, we strike matches
into the cistern so that what lives beneath
may find its way to some higher ground.

Heart of the shadow, sly as moon, a log
with teeth hanging in the current,
when you caress my belly sleep fills
my limbs, hunger crackles across shells.

Deep feeds from our hands, slobber
and sharp teeth, breath paces
the old porch, swayback roof dripping
fragrances of sea.

We cannot return what was taken,
still it feels like cloudless
was only a tide away. A conch,
recently emptied, you found beyond
the sandbar, not the fortunate
foretelling we thought.

Spoke of living here just beyond
buttonwood, with saltier mangrove,
needing only mullet, grits, coffee and weed,
a good dream ended by concrete, velocity
and a bridge abutment of finality.

Bending lines, joining with you,
blade may have cut the knot, unexpected
parting, but the memory of fiber
remains with the flesh, as heavy
a weight as absence and all that remains
unsaid, long strides have separated us,
wave has worn this form thin,
translucent as shell, sun bleached,
another ornament of wind
burnished by birdsong.

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