After the things I've seen
the air I've breathed with the scent of shore,
I am swimming out to sea
where I know I was born and belong,
and can spend all my days in soft suspended wonder
at the currents and caves and the long ocean song sung here

The moon glinted off my scales until they shone silver,
that night when you first noticed someone was out there
and I watched you for days trying to discern
why your eyes by day so blue reflected so orange bright
when you passed beneath the swinging lanterns at night

You seemed to half-belong out here,
the way you spoke to your ship
with infinite knowledge of each sail and wooden strip,
and how her bones stretched and rolled with your voice
as you coaxed her to swing with gusted sails over the waves in the day
or to laze in a set anchor daze to the water's slow hull slap at night

But I too have read in the thousand books lost by a thousand lost ships
how these tales have been told and how hearts have turned to burn and drown
each time those before us have tried to meet.
How coin-seeking smooth-talking men of opportunity
have stolen my sisters before me to parade and charade over the land
where their hearts faded slowly the farther they traveled from the sea.
Or what about the soul-wrapping siren song? how could I
bear to send you to a watered lifeless grave,
eternally captivate your imagining sight with eyes that
reflect all the ocean's moods,
lips like fire coral and in your arms I would shimmer-
the imminent death at the end of these shadowed deeps brings me no joy...

I thought once that I would die willingly if it meant
that I had the chance to live in the name of love,
some sort of infinite momentary beauty.
Now, having tasted the bitterness of endings
and seen how survival pales and fades when lovers are lost-

Even so; that day you stopped your easy evening labours
to raise your face with the sure knowledge that you were being watched,
and catching sight of me off the starboard side you did not shy away from what you read there
with the same inner eye you use to discern the mood of the water and the sky
and you saw me knew me wanted to hold me the same way
that you live to sail these ocean waters,
wanting to brave the typhoons for a glimpse of smooth green seaside lagoons,
and to limb-rendingly endure each hurricane for a chance to see me again

You, and your sailor eyes, blue
like the beginning of a clear day on open water
where the sky slows to dip into the sea,
call me with intrigue and a slow whistle carrying your song
and it spins over the leagues towards me
but I am swimming far out to sea.

Love may wrap its tendrils through to my heart again
when the summer waters are ripe with warmth
or when autumn currents slowly come wending,
but having heard and been almost lost to your sailor's song,
I will swim far out to sea so that I may be coaxed by watery caresses
to let the sound of the shoreline and the thought of your blue sunrise eyes
drift away to settle on an island far from here,
where no one ever lands but the palm trees wave gently
and the water stretches up to the sand
as though it was home for the first time.