by | January 2, 2023

I,       clinging,       algae-strung,

to the borders of you

in this subterranean room,


green wallpaper,       mulching

the curtain-washed light,

dissolving clear morning in acid


and spleen.         your left hand gloomy

in the dark,     its moss-blotch

stain of pencil lead—you always


let it drag.         your razored collar-

bone,       a pearly swordfish snout,

cutting a wake past my fingers,


your curving belly,       a salt-smoothed

plane,       worn soft and quiet-pebbled,

melting to an eddy in my hold,


your backbone,       each ridge slack

in sleep,       caught in the kelp-clutch

of your skin,       strange vertebrate


creature,       curling through the shoal.

your hair,       fanned feeler-like upon

the pillow,       a tangled ebb of foam


I cannot grip.         your body’s

sun-surge,       stirring breath,

now surfacing,       now sinking deep—


you,            a tidal mockery,

I,         crossing,         holding,         crossing now,

crossing your borders,         holding you,


you,            ceaseless as the sea.


Words by Eleanor Harvey. Art by Poppy Williams