Blackwater rinses marrow from bone,
skeletons wash ashore:
backbones, ribcages, rubber cartilage
calcified with salt, jellied with flesh,
imprinted on wet sand —
carrion for prey encircling above.

Wind gales siphon squalls to mist,
shipwrecks straddle rock:
strakes, scarphs, softwood keels
brittled from ash, crested on pillars
split from their masts —
kindling for wildfire spreading within.

Horizon, oil-bled in amber rungs,
cracked porcelain in effervescent light:
clays, feldspars, flints
vitrified to glass, struck on steel
rusted from age —
brush strokes for worn, calloused hands.

Holy people in a once-holy land,
acres dry from drought:
white-knuckled, strain-eyed, soul-fled
bodies undead yet unseen,
atrophied like vines:
twine for reins that cuff limbs.

I once bled for you.
speared side, chaliced wine,
crack-winds in Golgotha,
tenements laid bare from carnal
raids, heretic collections to
cumber purgatory’s bay.

With you I’ll wait, muted in silence,
hanging by loose grip, starboard,
barrels diffracting our feet, our
transgressions ink marks in our
veins while regret shines, shackle-bound
in chains beneath the fray.