you used the sea as metaphor,
of course it was the only way
to speak of tides too strong to fight,
of passions that roll in in waves.
you pictured me upon the shore,
i saw myself an island stranded.
you saw me from the ship you’d crafted,
i was standing empty handed.
you scanned the shoreline with your scope,
squinted at me through the mist.
i saw but didn’t dare to hope
to be understood inside a kiss.
you jumped over the side, i saw you
swimming with your heart in hand.
i wished to, like a lighthouse, guide you,
pull you safely onto sand.
but my warm heart’s a spinning compass,
perhaps less light than siren song.
i wanted only then to love you,
whether time be short or long.
so when you turned back to your skiff,
and waded out to climb again
aboard your vessel with parting kiss,
i know you then the best of men.
and so sometimes, i scan the shoreline,
watching for a ship to pass,
consider it a holy vigil,
i offer prayers as if at mass–
please, sailor, take good care, i beg you,
and if by night, you see the moon,
you know i’m from the shoreline watching,
hearts beating, even still, in tune.