Love in a time of oceans

The woman took a bite out of the love of her life,
and spat it out into the ocean. She stood

ankle deep, hem of her skirts soaked, barefoot,

with a dark grey wind accosting her shawl and hair;

and she watched the mouthful of flesh

sink beneath the rough mournful surf.

 

Her love sank and was tossed beneath waves

becoming silt and salt, and the salt and silt

became flesh. In a tiny way, the ocean’s love for her

grew and blossomed, as the taste of deep friendship

was swallowed whole. The ocean stared back to shore

and slowly slid away from one of many loves.

 

Flurry and swell gave way to calm and coolness.

The beloved flesh remained, albeit ever changed

and now never restrained. Fish nibbled at the loss

of lovelorn levity. The sea felt an unusual tide rising

a sickness forming, fears of losing the flesh

back to land, began to rise, and could not be set free.

 

The woman watched from the shore. She saw

nothing new, but could taste the hot flavour of salt,

the briny depths on her lips, a feeling of beautiful meat in her mouth

expelled forever, a distant memory even with pieces

still stuck in her teeth. But she could feel, lapping

gently at her toes and coolly at her heart; change.

 

She caressed the body of water, no more.

It looked to her for understanding, no more. Antipathy rained:

The crack of a gale whipped and fell suddenly, the tide pushed the

beach where she stood as far away as it could,

and the flesh was flung high and full into the air.

The woman would not watch the angry display; she turned away.

 

The winds and the tide and the earth, all on which she stood,

were infected with the bite she’d taken out of love.

They cried, they shuddered and shivered, diseased with

fevers she’d experienced for millennia.

The world swallowed her love, and was nauseated by the taste.

Sweet flesh disappeared, molecules in a vast plain.

 

The woman walked away, cold and wet, feet sore

with the pressure of sand between her toes.

She thought of her lost love, of offering it to the ocean

as a sacrifice to a god, of sorts. She tasted brine again,

and wiped a damp cheek, smiling, as she remembered,

her heart filling anew, the ocean staring jealously:

 

it had only been a bite.

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