Some nights I can’t even bear
to reach for you. Your long,
long legs, the dark flame
that blooms across
one shoulder, your mineral-blue
eyes turning and turning
over the broken-down relics
my family hoards.
You, of unknown origin:
chimney sweeps
and cemetery crews.
Builders of road
my people clattered down,
unthinking. What is marriage
but two ships passing,
one sending its captain
aboard the other for a gam?
No. That’s me hijacking
the metaphor again. My people
are of water, yours of stone.
Yet the Nantucket Quakers
believed in hailing their fellows
as thou—a warmth, a bridge
from you to me.
As in this wave-soaked sand.
The point of erosion.
Our bodies, lying here,
make the seam.


Rachel Richardson

Jeremy MirandaBridge (oil on canvas)