starfish

All day I struggle in sunlight
against circling shark-memory,
and then, exhausted by the effort
of fortifying myself against it,
sink unguarded into a thick and navy sleep
where the tenderness of its attack surprises me,
the way it gapes and silently rushes,
disguised as dream,
through those cold waters.

So we open sweetly into salt-dark sleep
like a starfish’s clenched hand relaxing,
only to be undermined by that which we fought
so violently and so steadily
during the calm sad waking hours,
when waves like light flickered over
the rippled floor, and the pale
bubble of surface above seemed so high,
so out of reach.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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