Beachcomber’s Bonfire

Wallpaper courtesy of Artur Teca

Can I again stand atop wave-washed rocks,
the penny-whistle breathing through my hands,
through my mouth, breathing the sea 
through my mind, the water living in my lungs,
growing and thriving, as your footprints sink and lift
in the black-rippled sand?

Can I again feel your muscles struggling
with the jagged rocks, lifting you higher
on the ledge, climbing to stand on the sky, 
ready to fly alone, over the waves,
your pelican arms encircling the horizon, enfolding me,
while your eyes burn twin flames of fear and abandon?

Sharing the touch that stirs the waves,
we kindle the blaze that burned
the rock and sand those days so long ago.

This pressing of need, the return,
me beneath you now, molded to your contour,
attached, trapped, transfixed,
is spark to the tinder of memory.

I smell the sea in your hair 
and grip it with hard fingers
while another hand, the falling sun
on water and sand, searches your curves
with a caress of spray and wind.

But you shout so now there’s no stopping.

Words breathe through open throats,
oaths of regret and promise and pain and 
there’s no stopping. 
My touch transforms to feline reflex
as tide and wind converge…

… and again I am racing you
to the end of the pier. 
The sun below the sea 
but leaving enough to find our way.

Feet slapping against wooden slats
in beat with flying legs and the deep,
fast breath of the chase.
Me pushing but never far ahead,
you hell-bent to win and damn near.
Neither slowing until bruised by the guardrail
then standing bent and breathless,
stirring the leeward breeze with laughter.

Standing together, arms as blankets
against the arriving mist, we see
the tide carry light to the quiet depths,
and watch the first wind-blown sparks 
rise from a beachcomber’s bonfire.


This poem will be in my upcoming collection “The End of an Ordinary Life”, available soon in paperback and Kindle. See my Amazon author’s page for more.
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