I've seen no bone dull as this dawn,
A calcite cranium of sky.
Sky, the Norse name for cloud,

Pervasive. The sea ropes
Our ankles, it wants us back--
The stone feet tugged under,
Treasured in a crab hole.

There are times I'm so alone
The ocean's a numb roar
Everything else rivers into.

Saline shudders, pools and drains
Around me; pools and drains,
Embracing and abandoning stones
Wearing lightly throughout my life

On their cool grind to nothingness.
I can sink or be swept.
I can love the waves

Of pale grasses we found
In the evening click of things
Going dim. But I cannot hold
Your hand to mine forever.

Skin insists on touch
Its mission is
To separate from bone.

This desire will persist
Until I'm stiff
And dried, a shelved memento mori,
Far from the flesh of things.

1982 John Goss