When I Have Not the Salt to Cry: Final Monologue on the Raft of Medusa

My dear; my dear, wake up to me

Here we are, your hand in mine

Look – we have come this far!

Still, the sunlight stretches on

The horizon; so bright it blinds

Where are the flies?

The gulls no longer peck or cry

But I can hear the fins

And I would like to say

Just this. My dear, I often pray

That we had met in drier times

And tasted in the shade

And loved on rocks and sand and grass

And with our hands, a galley made

For I would like to think

That if we sailed, we would not sink;

For anchored in the days we shared

I dared not sleep, nor scarcely blink

So precious was that little time

When I was yours, and you were mine.

Perhaps it is a shallow wish

And yet, the hope is deep enough

To drown within; for I suppose

Had I been born a fish

Then it would not have come to this.

Our feasting would have nigh surpassed

Those nights of bacchian delight –

Oh, wine in river, cream in well

That does not curdle in the night!

Steaks and breads and sausages

That baste in honey, pepper, thyme –

Pudding, stuffing, dressing, cake

Drizzled in molass.

Oh scrambled heart! Oh boiled brain!

The muscles ache in memory

Of what may yet have been; alas

Upon the breath of history

Had I not let go of your hand

Today, together would we stand?

Ah – but I did not.

Here it is. Our fingers crossed

Within each other; here I am

My dear. But where are you?

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