By Tom Seymour

In Lycia a man takes her hand.
And leads her from the curve of the beach.
Pulling tendrils from her feet,
The sea beading in her hair, a strand
Breaking into millennia.

A legion of birds air wings on charred arms,
From emerald blue to mercury white,
As crabs patrol the sand and spit,
Quiet but for the churn of waves.

She clings to him beneath his coat,
As he leads her from this open place, from those
Who remain, their faces cracked to dream anew,
The closing dusk of a land of man.

Over moors and valleys and shadows fought,
A home as rough as his hands.
An oak close by from where he glasses the land.
Of sea and sky that fuse entire,
Of clouds that seem to swallow clime.

The tin roof drums with sudden rain.
As he wraps her shivers in those slain.
All minutes and moments of night and day,
These rags are burnt without delay.

Her iris fathomless, Sibylline.
Their freckles align, her cradled spine.
Winged feet dart through time.

Fingers bound and palms concealed,
Words whispered only Chimera hears.
A beast that only sees itself.
Of flesh and blood already known.

They skate white streaks on a black-ice pool,
Hands smeared with clay, bloodied torso.
Kick and faint throb and sign of thumb, of tiny mouth.
The dust from the earth, no gust from above.

He eased from her, wrapped like a child.
He stood by the door and looked at the surrounding hills,
Through the rising sun he knows his panacea sought.
Their sharpened teeth, their stomachs empty.
Love and shelter more a dream than memory.
Eyes cataract as the sky.

This Poem Features In: