Sleepless in Surbiton

I deliberately didn’t post anything on Valentine’s Day. It would have been far too distasteful to dig out a love poem and post it just because a particular day demanded it. Last post was a simple love poem, this one is about something more specific. Just one of those nights with an epiphany, an awakening of sorts. And the starfish, sometimes, still lingers…

Sleepless in Surbiton

Shadows patrol the ceiling like the bulks of boats
As fish might see them from their dark.

You float beside me, stirring now and then
Like a buoy that signals the edge of deep water.

Rest won’t come to me, maybe because
I haven’t learned how to dream here yet,

Or because, close to your seaweed hair, I know
That this last sinking is all I will have left of you.

Our bodies turn and touch, two pebbles
Stirred by the churn of water, snatching breath.

If you wake I cannot tell, can only sense
The flutter of your heart, frantic as oxygen escaping.

And then you turn away with your deepening secrets,
And I look at you, lying like a metaphor

Of sand presenting itself to the ocean, and outside
Blackbirds signal dawn like gulls on a dreary spit.

And I slip from your side like a tide going out,
Leave in those rockpool eyes, this starfish of my heart.

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