Saltwater and Ink: A Poem

Opalescent moon, senescent sky
A fog at dusk that speaks to me in tongues
Like the prophets of old
My phantom dreams, papier-mache and origami, so fragile,
Milk-white, and pale
Are laid at the altar
As I clutch this knife
With your name on my lips.

This love isn’t pretty but it is real
(Real like the paint peeling off your front porch
Real like the first scent of smoke on autumn’s breath)
Drenched in it, saltwater and ink
(Your sweat, and mine)
You will lick me clean, and I, penitent
Will baptize you.

John Atkinson Grimshaw

“Lovers in a Wood”, oil on card, John Atkinson Grimshaw