Mary Anne Mohanraj
And The Sea is Shaking...

Is this how the ocean feels
at night, when the waves
move through her, when they pound
against the shore? The moon
so far away; its light is
silver-bright but cold, and the wind
sings shivering down from the ice,
from the place where the water
lies trapped, held still in the cold
(underneath it is shaking,
underneath it is aching). So
lonely, such broad and empty
places where only tiny fish
shiver, slipping under the ocean’s
skin, where a gull sweeping down
will only remind her how empty
is the still blackness of night,
of sky. The sailors are all away,
at home, asleep in the arms of patient,
frightened wives, rocked safe and
held tight against the day, against
the moment when they slide out
of those arms, that bed, that warm
house, slip down to the water’s edge
where the boats are waiting,
waiting for the clear grey edge of
dawn, when they will go dancing
along the sea-skin, singing faithless
love songs for her during the brief
so brief