She wears all black black night black
during the day and swears her legs
to move towards the crashing
waves and she becomes shipwrecked
for his body. She pictures her skin is bark
and she slices herself with shells to hear it howl.
She thinks he’s become the wave:
thinks he is seagull, dolphin song. She breaks
the seahorse open and turns
its gills into a choker. She eats its heart
and hears him calling. Thinks every fin
is a signal. Shark’s belly: he is near shore.
Washed up coral: he is never coming back.
After the evening, she candles her dress
and slinks herself down past the water. She wants
to taste him. To fish him back out. Puts her
left lung on a hook and tries to swing him back up.
Waits past morning, the bobbin wriggling like a dying
bird. She digs her heel deeper into the crushed ocean bottom
and looks to left to see the clouds darkening.
Kallie Falandays is the author of Dovetail Down the House (Burnside Review 2016). You can read her work in PANK, Black Warrior Review, Salt Hill, and elsewhere. She runs Tell Tell Poetry.