Part of Giordano Bruno’s heresy was his conception of a universal soul, which he compared to the Greek ocean goddess Amphitrite.
I
In the evening, so close, my lips graze your lobe. Where you sit at a table splattered with beeswax, roomed above a stable in Rome, I open my arms to you–currents, waves, swells, a body ready to take you in.
Cow dung and sour milk reeks through floorboards.
A cart lumbering on the street below.
Your quill, dipped in ink, scratches thoughts about me across paper–how I’m atoms floating in an endless sea, a single starlight ocean, a soul cast into never-ending ether.
II
Dawn, and you refuse to betray me. In red cassocks and golden mitres, they strip of your cloak, linen, hose, shave your head, gag you with a bridle of cowhide. As they huddle against a cold sun on greasy cobblestones, hooded monks turn from your mangled chants leaking over the wind, the pop of blistering flesh. They mutter incantations to save you from eternal fire, but they’re more afraid your pyre is their own undoing. Like cracks in ice, they travel away from my arms that would wrap them in a saltwater stole.
III
I birthed you in a broth of kelp, oysters, mussels, starfish, and again you eddy toward underwater caverns, an eel encircled in fire.
I hear your gutturals behind the rag they’ve stuffed down your throat, smell your red rivers pulsing toward my tides.
Logs hiss. The crackle of cedar branches in flames.
Behind your ribcage spins a gold ball, a mass of droplets streaming star-ward, north, south, east, west. You’re an ammonite, swirling in the morning light.
Your sparks fly into my waves.
As embers float upward to darkness, your skin crisps, your bones and fingernails char, turn to ash.
I rock you to sleep in a simmering cradle.

Christine Swint

something has grown in me

January 17, 2019

The next morning I shall get up at dawn. I shall let myself out by the kitchen door. I shall walk on the moor. I shall see the swallow skim the grass. I shall throw myself on a bank by the river and watch the fish slip in and out among the reeds. The palms of my hands will be printed with pine-needles. I shall there unfold and take out whatever it is I have made here; something hard. For something has grown in me here, through the winters and summers, on staircases, in bedrooms. Then my freedom will unfurl, and all these restrictions that wrinkle and shrivel–hours and order and discipline, and being here and there exactly at the right moment – will crack asunder.

Virginia Woolf
The Waves

beneath the sea

October 14, 2018

What exists beneath the sea? I’d always pictured it in colours of emerald and aquamarine, where black velvet fish with sequined eyes swim among plankton. But, when my eyes adjust, I see gray stones, lost anchors, wet wood, buttons, hooks, and eyes, the salem witches who wouldn’t float, stars and stripes, missing vessels, windup toys, the souls of Romeo and Juliet, peaches, cream, pistons, screams, cages of ribs and birds, tunnels, nutcracker soldiers, satin bows, drugstore signs, Pandora box ripped open at its hinges.

Kelly Easton
The History of a Star