tides that rise

Hurricane Shadow Puppets
by Cricket Desmarais

The sea comes and reunites our lives — Pablo Neruda

In that pinch of skin that makes the mouth for the gator’s shadow
on a wall, where the blaming finger meets the thumb in the crook
and crease of the hand — a scar, a punctuation mark to mark the burn
where a candle dripped during the storm that filled my house
with sea, made my bed sail like a ship in the windy night. Deluge
from the Latin root lu, to wash, that flood that washed me clean.
Surge on both sides of this island, I lit and relit the candle,
watched it trickle in — water rising steady past shins, knees, my
waist, then up past the pinch of skin with it’s mouth stuck
in the shape of shock and wonder. The tingle and burn of salt
where salt should not be. And then my other mouth, saying
In Tibet they would applaud for you, because they believe
this is auspicious. Fish swim in through the mail slot,
the cats peer down from the bookshelf. I did not remember
the winds could do such a thing, laugh out loud
to no one. Why I washed the floor that morning. Now
the wood buckles, bends, swells from the weight of water.
I cannot open the door, the windows won’t budge. In the flickering
light I think of Neruda’s sunken bride and burned mermaid,
of pomegranates and elevators, of the man I have not yet met
and the children I’ve not yet had, hold my hand
to the candle, watch its wet shadow on the wet wall, make
the shape of “L” — for longevity, for leeward, for
love and for lu. For wax that burns and tides that rise.

(this beauty was written by my kindred. here is to new tides rising …)

blue boat waiting for the tide
finisterra, galicia, spain

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