RO-SHAM-BO

a poem by Christine Darragh

On again, then off—phosphorus
emits a curious glow, barnacles
open, shut. Anemones bloom
with the rise and fall of the sea
—our own armistice-linked
hearts tamed in this violet hour.
Briefly—a still sea, liminal space,
tentative peace—salt and sand
observe an intertidal ceasefire—
evening at the water’s edge.

Sunset magic holds until darkness,
tides’ turn. I am again ocean—
vast, frigid, deep. You—treacherous
coast.I break against your impassive
body. Daily we play this zero-sum
game: shifting influence vying
for mastery over dishes, domestic
affairs, marriage beds—easy blame.

Indebted to moonrise—I am driven
against willful margins—shatter
to salt and foam. But, I will return,
erode you slowly—shoreline unraveled
—consumed by unrelenting swells.

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