Yellow Sea, Galenograph 2017



Things that might happen: It could rain or the door you open

goes nowhere.

Things do happen. Before you know it, the pain of loss

when nothing is yet lost.

It never happens, yet it does.

Everything is hooked to a sound

remembered; the smell of wind, woven

from the loom of childhood, the heaving

beaches and blue water, distant voices

curving across yellow dunes.

You remember yourself a child soaring above the sand

and how you measured the shadow of your body

the sun made. You remember

the pale sky’s invisible moon, and one day, when you think surely

everything meets in the perfect tense, something

imagined will happen.

It happens.

And you no longer care to fly,  drifting into the sea,

treading in the perfect turbulence

of God’s imperfect eye.

You deny nothing—darkness and the day of your death,

a body made in the sand. Long shadows

of late afternoon light. You stumble

on your past, then fall upon descending clues, imagining

a life you’d live again,

just as you dreamed you might.


I remember each word you said. I remember

the light lingering outside

the room where the bed held us.

I remember you said your beautiful legs

could be held, would lead me to intoxication,

the soft-curved inner thigh turning,

and I, mad-like and tremulous, drank the dark heat;

I made the journey again

and again, and from all that I tasted, from all that I drank,

I grew drunk on the taut-like beauty of your skin.

I remember the slow sound of your low-

throated laughter slide across the darkness

above my heart,  how you held my head

close to your loins, growing and rising

to the pinnacle of desire. I felt the press and thrum

of wings slide away, and I, filled with your sea,

released of fire, surrendered to the kiss

and heaving dunes of your body,

there on the raft of sleep,

beneath the invisible moon.

Galen Garwood