The dying call out with the sea's own voice -
the throat's raven-rattle, a wriggling sea-spray speech.
When the mouth is filled with ocean and light,
blackness follows; like the sea, they are already gone.
In the raven-rattle like a throat, the sea-spray speaks:
shingledrag rings out bells of barnacle and bladderwrack,
already gone, we follow, searching the sea's sound
between the pummel of crashwave and the shrinking shore.
Shingledrag wrung out of barnacle and bladderwrack,
we couch the dead within the carapace of sea -
between the pummel of crashwave and the shrinking shore
we build our fists of shell to beat the surface of the sea.
We couch the dead in the ocean's tear-stained carapace:
Cover us, cover us, cover us, sings the echo of the dead
so we build fists of shell to beat the drum of sea,
watching the water's fingers slip around their own.
Cover us, cover us, cover us, sings the land to the sea:
on it comes, takes generations, dry earth, hills of shell.
The grappling sea reaches, takes us for her own
as year by year we're threaded like jewels into the seabed
taking generations, more earth, more hills of shell
and our mouths are filled with ocean and light,
year by year threaded like jewels into the seabed
and the sea calls out with the voice of the dead.
[previously published in Pocket Spellbook]