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Communion

By Hannah Chapman




you walk towards the water

pebble-footed

awkward

strip off your vinegar skins under

a cathedral sky


your toes feel it first

the cold I mean

and the stones shift like rosary beads

beneath your feet


you tack forwards

inexorably drawn

and with every step the ocean claims another inch

of your fiddle flesh


and the water ascends your

thermometer body

like mercury

cool and silvered


and the silvered sea erodes

and erases

channelling salt paths

into your baggywrinkle skin


you coast onwards

down a sun-bleached aisle

and your veins scupper their tired load

and the sea rushes in

silk cold


and the silk cold sea

awakens every dormant organ

and soaks

with her saliva brine

your liver gut and maw


by now you are fathoms deep

fathomless deep

edges and horizons blurring


and the silvered sea erodes

and erases

an exquisite invasion

and the cold devours your batten bones

and gnaws down on your cellular walls


you lie back

becalmed

surrender

to her salt assault


and adrift upon her currents

your driftwood limbs


disperse and shift


and your sea sponge heart

fills to bursting


in her frigid grip


and your bladderwrack hair

fans out about you


lifted by her undulations


and your periwinkle toes pierce

her perfect surface


wrinkling the mirror sky


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