Ocean Borne

Tonight I listen to your breath
while you sleep, and your reef arm
cradles my waist. Your breath is a wave
I ride as I dally along dream’s shoreline -
I savor each tow’s journey,
your sleeping fish against my inner thigh
your cheek warm and rough like sand, a spray,
a puff of breath, a miracle against the skin.

As I slip into the pull between each sigh
I remember that breath, ragged, cloaked
by a clay frame, molded by a rip tide: tossed, tumbled
into a gray sea slug with awkward appendages
feebly embracing an August sand.
We are only sand, only its color,
and if we let go, so easily stirred
like seasoning into the brine.

But tonight, safe, your breath shapes a full moon…
it guides your waves of down, an undertow
seducing me to sleep. As I listen,
your breath becomes the pull
and release of years, a buoy to cling to through
the sea-tide of centuries and swirling stars,
a boat we’ll sail to a further shore, and dive.
That’s when, your breath whispers, tangoing,
we’ll emerge and stride, as the sunrise sea foam
blows about our bodies in the wind like red scarves.

Stephanie Zugates Major



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