Tiempo y Marea (Time and Tide)

by Oliver Hunter

We know when the time is perfect:

when the song of houses lifts

across streets hard with leather in the night,

and every salted breath as delicious.

The skin of the stone, nameless but for sound,

is is pulled by my predator, the tide.

Poems are signs to the elements,

reminding me of my wet hearttubes

and the stones of their belling names,

each one pulled across their neighbour,

stroking elbows and submerged knees;


that spread skyward, and toeward.

Years separate us.

The minute hand is no friend of ours.

She comes and goes, and suffers

like righteous men, from constipation

of the soul.

I wander aimless mouthing

many things silently

interrogating the water–beads.

I dig myself a hole like a well

and it is my coffin.

I try to ignore the sun.

I plead with the elements to stop for a moment

so I can catch up.

I listen for the sound of my own voice

from ceilings turned upside–down.

I make plans in my head about the water

being useless

and songless

and dry

when all that is needed is a sown breath,

arms slack to the pull,

each stone, held in stone

hope, quiet and shadow.