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Earth Dreams

But a mermaid has no tears

and, therefore, suffers so much more.

Hans Christian Andersen

.

All night I dreamt of land. Of soil

crumbling through my fingers to leave

black parings under broken nails,

.

of fields spread with dung and that melancholy

light of autumn, the colours of clay and fire,

where morning has a yellow tongue.

.

Could I exist in air?

In this oceanic deep you lie embedded

in the womb of my heart,

.

attached by an umbilicus of longing,

my aqueous nightgown transparent

as air.

.

I don’t even know who this you is.

Though I’ve pictured your all too human body

naked on my bed of cowrie shells,

.

visualised our house of cloth and tar,

ash walls mortared with the glue

of boiled fish bones.

.

Water accepts everything,

even the misshapen.

Over and over I’ve tried to imagine

.

a need for balance,

that slow steadying of the inner ear,

metatarsals pushing into solid ground.

.

Yet though I wait and wait

time returns me only to myself

as night to morning,

.

as sea to the shore,

so, where your voice

should be, there is only silence.

.

.

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