At the far side of the water

At the far side of the water
shadows stretch long,
around ankles tiny angles knife through light,
the skin on the back of his hands turns silver
and when he moves his feet through the water
it is hard to see where he starts.

He thinks that he will one day become a river,
a thing called myth,
thinks he will be blue water
in two pale hands cupping flat morning calm,
creased into grey wrinkled fingertips by afternoon.

He says one day she will see him with waves raised
by fingers of wind into the outlines of ribs full
of flashing silver shapes hurling themselves to the light.

Says he will hold in his belly the bent backs of ships
haunted by mermaids and the bones of men
who leapt overboard to chase down white whales
and songs without words but found only quiet
split by strange clacks from ragged claws.

Says he will be the place where water
flows back into itself,
where she will lead wild horses
and smooth down flanks with flat stones,
where she will hold them until they are gentle.

A place where they will come
to bend their necks and drink
and he will move in their blood,
wick salt from wild eyes
and roll thunder in muscle.

She reaches her hand to his and waves rise
silver and flash in his skin.

At the far side of the river unbroken horses
move slow and heavy through shadows.

He looks down to their feet moving through water
and can no longer see where they stop.

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