[6 June 2019]
We wander down to the wharf,
empty street, empty water, empty bags in hand,
and ponder there a little while,
like a woman on the birthing table,
watching the sun set over the water and fade into the land:
anaesthetised, but expectant.
and your eyes dim.
The sea-salt spray washes in, washes away, fills to the brim.
We take it in, you and I, in silence, except for when you mumble something about work.
I tuned you out twenty years ago but have perfected the art
of seeming interested.
It doesn’t fool you but you almost appreciate the effort. I almost care.
You stoop down and grab some trash out of the sand: a label,
a bottle of wine, unopened, and an empty bottle and a pile
of plastic forks and knives. If you were able,
I don’t think you’d stop with just the beachfront.
You hand me the wine –
Merlot, Bordeaux, ’89 –
a good batch, and the empty bottle and say, “dig in,” as if it were left there just for us. Maybe it was.
And so that night, amidst the broken glass and the brack and the brine,
we built a shrine to us,
and all the while the evening closes in and the night nuzzles up next to us,
holding us, enfolding us, embalming us,
making us into something entirely without a soul
but that can withstand all the ages of time.