Read aloud and explained (somewhat) here.
i have always loved words as you love the sea
but i have grown to hate
because i have always had words
but never for you.
words for everything
but i have words for this, so
i'll take them
one by one.
the ocean was your first love and
i could always see it in your eyes.
most would call them blue--just
like a swell over a sandbar
blue like the spring sky over a poppy field.
but i don't think anyone
got as close as i did and they're not blue
not shorebound and
they're gray like the steelbellied sea itself
like the horizon at dawn as it
hems you into an impossibly vast canvas
like a demarcation line
or a promise.
one you always chased.
maybe i had a streak of oceanic wilderness in me
something a little beautiful
and a little dangerous
(maybe i'm flattering myself)
but you found your landlegs for a while--
and there were blue-black nights with yellow-white curtains
fluttering in the salt-scented land breeze
and the low liquid wash of your voice
and the way you took from me the words you didn't have
and i stole from you the feelings
i never understood.
when you were with me i listened and listened and when you left
seagulls and shorebirds
masts lit on holy fire
waves and tides but mostly
letters letters letters--
handwritten and unsent because you left
for the only place my words
could not reach.
as much as i'd like to think otherwise
my veins hold iron
and maybe i can't bleed out volumes for you
you will always be