There are no fish that swim here
in this mire dark green and viscous.
He always felt at peace in the water
and even now he remembers
how he would toss in a stone
and watch his face tear away with the ripples.
When the wind drops and the sun rises, lazy as lost spirits,
the coffin – a boat for the dead –
is anchored and tranquil
wreathed in tendrils and reeds
somewhere beneath the surface, crystallised with light,
out beyond the storm, beyond reach.
That Winter the bay froze
as his body turned with the sky from dusted
pink dawn into a bruised blue-green dusk,
all warmth and light drawn away like miners pulled
from their tunnels in subtle shifts.
But still he may return
like the others.
Every single one of them
a ghost-limb of the bay
as though the water forgets
to keep what it claims.