Drink Me Dry

It’s been almost a week since I had the privilege to perform at Loud Poets: The Rise and Fall of Robin Cairns and the Spiders from Mars (potentially the longest named poetry night in history – is there a Guinness World Record for that?) so I suppose it’s about time I published the typed version of the poem I wrote. Thus, without further adu:

Drink me dry.
I am sea water,
the calm hum of salt scraping stone,
water droplets like diamonds against bone dry skin
but heat
is hardly an enemy.
See I live in the Arctic,
all ice collision and polar bear threat,
but there’s more to it than that.
I’ve got Mediterranean bones
and a heart
only the Carribean can keep.
There is more to me than the North Sea –
I’m in every cloud that every drowned you,
taking cities with waves, ransacking bedrooms,
flooding lungs
with ocean memory.

So don’t look at me like a saviour.
You can’t pin water against a cross, and it’ll keep you warm
but only for so long.
See, I’m sea water,
and you’re a volcanic eruption on the tip of my tongue
but don’t let me cool you down.
I wanna see fire
and brimstone,
defy my mother and touch the open flame
but I’m afraid it’ll turn me to steam
and I guess that’s kinda the problem.

‘Cause I want engine sparks,
and glaring sun,
your body pressed against mine like an iron on creased clothes.
I hope you know
that every taste of your mouth devastates me
’cause I want you
more than the sea wants the shore
even if we don’t quite fit.
If there’s water on Mars then we might stand a chance
but only if you stop looking at me like that.

There’s nothing holy about my deep sea creatures
or the way I move to soft rock.
I’m more storm than shore, more thunder than rain,
but that’s okay.
Because for all my poet talk, I know
we’re just people,
just bone and bite and blister,
and if you can learn to love my dark parts, I’ll learn to love yours too.

Don’t look at me like a saviour.
I’m only sea water, bubbling in the stream,
and I can’t stop you setting your house on fire,

but when you do,
I’ll be there to dowse that fire in blue.
I can’t stop the scorch marks or how lonely it feels
in a world of only smoke,
but I can take your hand,
keep you steady,
and if you’ll be kind enough to let me,
I’ll show you how much better under the sea can really be.


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