Near the Ocean
(inspired by Robert Lowell)
Three pillows, end on end, rolled in a daybed blanket
define the space between us.
You no longer care to breathe me in,
share the taste of my day.
While I ache for the salt slick of your skin,
the stress of contact.
I watch the ebb and flow of your breathing,
the swell of your chest over shipwreck-ribs.
Your spine describes a strange path
climbing to an unseen promontory,
the taut skin stretched like sails
gathering the breeze.
Tomorrow I will wake becalmed -
strike out for shore on a spring tide.
Somewhere, as the breakers fade behind,
I may find your footprint soft in plush,
and if I lay my head on your empty pillow
I swear Ill hear the ocean.
If you've any comments on
this poem, Carole Houlston would be
pleased to hear from you.