On the Sand, on the Bay/Daniel Rattelle

Daniel’s poem from issue two of Eye Flash is brimming with imagery and rhyme that combines magically to create a scene full of pastoral and romantic melancholy.

 

On the Sand, on the Bay 

 

I dreamt of ice in fitful sleep,

the mead still thick across your teeth,

the kiss laid on my beardless cheek. 

 

We sat on our bags in the gate 

in Reykjavik, your sweater, grey 

and loosely knit like chainmail. 

 

Then in the field, our breath like iron,

we ran, having misread the meter. 

I stood like Scarp-Hedon, fit 

 

for battle, your floral-print dress

rustled like leaves in October,

which rot into mulch behind the shed

 

back home. Your ash-tree skin 

dripped pitch—the hull of a Viking ship

Sailing Midgard to Valhalla.

 

Then on the plane, I couldn’t help 

but think of Gunnar and Halgerd—

The reek of smoke on Njal’s black bones

 

The morning after. And though, by now

I think I know what Morrissey meant 

About girls and graves, I’ll take the chance.

 

Oh, by the way, before you come up

To bed, just bank the stove with logs 

And push the damper ‘till it clicks. 

 

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