I do not live close enough to the sea
to hear this many seagulls,
the circling squawks echoing
through a red brick housing estate
which only knows the waves of incoming traffic,
which only knows sirens flashing red and blue.
Nevertheless I am grateful for their song,
their nails on chalkboard melody
reminding me of the distant ocean
which surrounds me even when I’m alone
toes in carpet not sand,
buried in sheets not metre waves.
My absence makes my heart bloom fonder,
growing in size like envy at Christmas,
increasing in volume like the pounding in your chest
whenever we meet again.
A wise ribcage steeling itself for a broken heart,
you hold me and it’s as if we were never apart.
I wonder if our distance feels the same
in your hands, in your eyes and ears
as it does in mine, forlorn and watching the time.
We crash like cliffs and waves,
our love a squall in the ocean’s belly
in the middle of July.
And so in your absence,
my skin is calm – untouched tranquility
begging for a storm,
for you and me and the soar,
the chance to deafen a gull’s screech
with the breath in our lungs.
© Kristiana Reed 2018