Strangers

Mumbles Sunrise Pano BW

(Inspired by the works of Dylan Thomas)

She married in this pouring place,
saint carved and sensual among the scudding
base of the familiar sky–
up through the lubber crust of Wales
and the golden pavements laid in requiems.

I am the long world’s gentleman, he said.
The studded male in a bent, midnight blaze
scaled a hailing hill in her cold flintsteps,
showed her a picture of Boston Harbour
and how summer looked in Ireland.
He knew every story from the beginning
of the world, the moon-chained
and water-wound metropolis of fishes,
the oil and bubble of the moon.

Winter-locked, side by side,
her hair had fallen untidily
and three of the buttons of her dress
had come undone. Thirty-five bells
sung struck and he said his prayers to it,
knees bent on the blackened twigs,
huge weddings in the waves. His naked need
struck him howling and bowed
twined in a moon-blown shell, gazing
through the smashed windows at the sea.

Always goodbye, cried the voices from the shell,
her deepsea pillow where once she married,
old paper blowing by them–
strangers now huddled against the wall,
their cigarettes sparkling, hands by their sides.

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