Thursday, September 12, 2013

a moment below sea level

Elena Kalis Photography

It starts in a deep and profound silence
knees clenched to my chest
ear-flaps bending water
to spin me slowly
in a grove of half-chewed seaweed
and curly black hair

There is an early morning sun
coloured gold by eyelids
and the blue of a reflected sky
there is the sound of a child
footsteps like muted fingers
touching the bone in my ear
breaking through sand and form and salt
louder than my rip-tide heart-beat
brighter than a song

an explosion arrives
a wave-front of laughter from blushing cheeks
oscillating violin chords playing from smiling eyes
the smell of spray-paint used to share secrets
the touch of morning sex

it passes over me
leaving behind restless molecules
that have come alive
never to sleep again

Suddenly, I am breathless
heart-sounds like lonely gunshots
air escaping from pores like bullet-holes
lungs like the twin furnaces of an old steam engine
arteries and airways collapsing from the vacuum

I become empty so I may be refilled
by this midday sun, and the child and the ocean
by the nuclear fallout of two colliding hearts
by the living water around me
and the living water inside me

Put your lips around mine
steal my last breath
compress my chest
let it cry out like an accordion
and save me from this silence

I summon the memory of cello music
to colour the ocean wood-brown and twilight-red
to dull this knife-edge moment
that I might keep it safe
in the soft, forgotten places
of my torn flesh

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