UNDERCURRETNS, by Jennifer Crow


My siren song answers

the beautiful longing in you,

the ache, the unspoken grief

you hide like treasure

or secret shame. The same sorrow

beats in me, a pulse

as steady as any heart.

I learned this song

for you, a lifetime ago

and longer. I knew one day

you’d sail into my waters,

tied to the mast of your pride—

the oceans of the world churn,

and soon or late, carry

the empty vessels of our souls

to some waiting shore.

To drink the sea is death,

to sleep in her cool arms

brings only a watery grave,

yet I sense a craving

steady as the current beneath your hull.

And what if I sing to you, love?

Can you hear me

over howling wind,

over shrilling gulls

and groaning timbers? Will you listen

to me, even knowing

the end at the beginning?

I promise a tangle

of skin and soul, a winding

as intricate as a sailor’s knot,

and as binding. I vow

a moment stretched to breaking

because nothing perfect lasts,

and that is what makes perfection:

the song fades, the hand

slips free, the soul remembers

what the body forgets

in the depths.

You know why you are here.

You heard me singing

before you ever dreamed of the sea.



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