The Half-Life

By Cara Bullinger

Here there is no death, no birth
Nothing but warm sand, still pools  
Of silence and water
She has stayed here with him,  
For how long she does not know,  
Smiling to see him laugh  
At the sun-speckled fish, the bickering gulls,  
And watching him write unfinished poems in the sand
Beyond the ridge of rocks,  
She hears the ocean surf  
Wailing, then whispering, and imagines  
The flame of sunset over the water
She wonders what gifts of shells  
The tide may leave her.  

At night, when he sleeps,  
She whispers to him of all her dreams  
And touches his hand. He coughs
Moves away; the cool breeze covers her body,  
Fingers her hair while she listens to the sea  
Sighing and chanting to the land,  
Touching the shore, drawing away  
And returning again like flowers  
Blooming in spring and dying in fall .  

She puts a shell to the man 's ear.  
He moans when he hears the fierce sea-song,  
And she wonders if she has become like himCurled up like a fetus,  

Afraid to be caught in the tides  
And tossed to the light.  

Cara Bullinger