my steed, steady waters (and wars) crash into you,
burn onto you atop your haven so tall
and striped. giving light to a new man —
to a lost man.
and you smell of sea salt, youknow —
you reek of brooding eyes, calamity and
you root your soles into the wooden
floorboard, digging them as deep as you can
to mark something, anything.
i won’t kiss anywhere but on your lips -
square on those lips,
as to not touch the roots growing out from your
very pores, the wiry copper silk that tastes even more of the sea than your skin.
and in your solitude up here,
up where the skies are dark and clouds
time does not skip,
time is there and you are present.
playing cards — you are there.
the tide’s never ending attempt to grasp onto the shore — you see it every day.
it’s a marvel to know you are down here
despite being way up above us all.
i wonder if you are still sheltered from the rain like we are,
if you are still facing your back towards the wind as we are.
your dark knitted hat clinging to your bronze hair,
and in the lighthouse it is warm,
the candle warms you, the fire warms you,
the light wanes you.
trimming the wick, wicking away, as you guide him and the fish and the sea
back to these rocks, to our shores.
days seem longer to you up there,
or maybe days just seem shorter to us —
whatever it is, you are a mystery.
my eyes are wet but my shoes are wetter
as i trek up these mountain-steps;
the door is closed, and the whir and whish of the morning breeze ruffles papers from the inside.
i open the door and then knock — out of order, i know. i always seem to do things out of order.
thomas, you’re silly. look at you, instead of in your rocking chair you are sitting on the floor, back against the corner of the wall.
your skin has never looked clearer,
and the floors were beginning to collect dust.
a book filled your hand: the most dangerous game.
this must have filled your simple room with
great ideas, great action, great movement;
for it all to stay inside of your great mind would be a waste. (is a room not most useful when it is empty?)
next to you is ovid, oscar wilde, homer, and anne carson.
a simple radio unplugged lies on the floor beneath the tall standing bookshelf with huge dictionaries and classics and
half-full and half-empty glasses of water.
sea water. you just couldn’t get the taste of the sea out of your lips, out of you. you’d always
like to look at me and say,
“by the sea all worries wash away,”
and to you it meant everything. to you it meant safety. to provide safety and being provided with safety.
so by the sea, you stood tall and brooding, trimming the wick and wicking away,
guiding the men and the fish and tide back to home, back to the rocks, back to the shore, back to you.
let me tell you something, my old friend