Annette M. Sisson
This small earth, the tide’s salt-edged tongues, damp licking. Breath eddies, swells the sponge of lungs, lobes suspended amid sky and sea, exhaling, exhaling. Gust gathers, sweeps through the priory ruins, presses sheaves of basalt, wrenches cord grass and bogbean—the chest-hinge opens. Blood thumps. Gale surges, crests, pummels laps of sand. Ancient monks murmur, figments in spray. Slick, mercurial bodies, molded heads—grey seals bob in surf; they lumber to shore, clamber onto rock, keep vigil, quiet as gospel on calfskin.