Reunion

I pull from tangled 

island ventricles

pale claws nearly dust

to stash in my breast pocket.

Clittering china, I picture

a family of crab ghosts converging

over my pulse, ready to tuck

into their first bloody meal after death; 

eye stalks sway in synchrony 

raised in prayer to Sea, or

perhaps his brother, Sky.

Spectres Crustacea 

mingling in my pocket,

I scoop out my heart

and permit you to feast.

 

Photo credit: Beth Tockey Williams

Lightening is Dead

Then thunder comes

on shoulders of rain.

The roar you think

will taper off

 

so you stop to hear her out;

on she shakes, & on. 

Her bellow beats bereft

the balding palm, prickle pears

 

wag paddles in her face.

You hear her grief-ripples 

from the thick-aired house,

windows agape, sills –

 

tongues for puddling.

She sobs through lunch

of jasmine rice &

coconut milk, sobs 

 

through day marking papers 

in blue-black strokes.

Even unto sleep, even once

rain has ceased, thunder

 

crawls down the dark hall

on her hands & knees.


(The soft pastel painting featured alongside this poem was created by my mother, Beth Tockey Williams. Stay tuned for more content like this, as together we are creating a book of poetry and pastel landscape paintings documenting our experience as the Artists in Residence at the Dry Tortugas National Park!)