I wrote this years ago. It's meant to be a sort of Goddess myth.
Four miles along the coast from Penzance, there is a pirate who paints pictures of the sea.
He lives for the storm clouds- that hungry mass of grey devouring the colour of everything. He lives for sea, for the rage resting just beneath the surface- locked in the waves that tip the boats, that smash like glass against the rocks.
Though an old man now, with a grey-white beard and a body crooked as a child's drawing, he was once young, wild as a summer storm, and I had loved him.
There he is, standing at the door of his stone white cottage, his clothes alive with the wind. Steam rises from the heavy cup in his hand, he brings it to his lips, turns, and goes inside.
This is how he spends his time- though I'm lost at sea, this is how he waits for me.
My body aches with the warmth of memory.
The days grow worn, old teeth in the mouth of time. Shadows long etched across the earth, billow in the wind- as if the curtains in this great window looking out on the universe, are being drawn together inch by inch.
I wander the moors, waiting.
Rain drives into the earth, endless bullets from a sky-wide gun, until the grasses lay flat, on their bellies, in the trenches, waving flat-faced white flowers like flags- you've won, you've won, they cry to some deaf god beyond the stars.
Deep in December I walk to his cottage. The night is grey and green, the dawn a bright pin of light on the horizon, a star fallen into the sea. There is salt in my hair and my hands are black as peat from the secrets I buried here, in this wet earth. I carry them with me now, as proof of my love, to show him- the black bones of my children, their bodies heavy as my heart.
He is sitting by the door of his cottage, a thin, line drawn form, no longer substantial- all the points that held him to this earth are slowly being plucked away.
The air smells like the sea, the sky is black and rolling in waves, the horizon has become a bright line of light, an electrified limit between us and the stars.
I give him my hand.
I've been waiting for you, he says.
Though I must have imagined it, for when I turn, his body is hollow as a flute.