The whites of my teeth are flecked with moss.
I've always smiled with my lips pressed tight so no one
Could see the salt-spackled rocks
Tumbling round in my throat.
I think you once suspected I had
The ocean inside me;
Though now I've told you,
So of course you know.
Sometimes the dolphins scream so loud that you look at me a little
Lopsided; never mind that
My ocean has no dolphins, or whales
Or fish or growing things.
Just the rocks, with their creeping lichens,
Just the weeds, choking the bay,
Just the salt, choking me-
And him, choking both of us.
Sometimes I wade in the ocean at night,
Beside you, without leaving the bed.
I let my feet sink deep in the sand
And my body carve rigid to the wind.
You breathe against me, hot, asleep,
Unknowing as I grit myself before the slapping of the waves.
I cannot help it;
I am beckoned by catastrophe.
When I jolt awake with the sea on my lips and scales in my hair,
You don't ask any questions-
You smile and kiss me and say,
In the voice I've come to name SORROW, and LOVE,
"It'll be alright. You're okay,"
And I fall back asleep in silence.
Some might say the ocean is silent.
The thickness of the night is a blessing.
But I say it's hot, and heavy,
And anyone born near the coast can attest
That the ocean doesn't whisper,