by Zinta Aistars
(Pencil drawing, "Woman in Waves," by Viestarts Aistars.)
She is born of the foam, the spittle and spume
of the sea, sand grit collecting in the seashell coils
of her ears, pearls tucked inside the pink of her palms.
This is the baptism of her father's desire,
his washing into and through her mother
earth, globe of molten fire at core,
and a narrow hope renewed.
Her father's gentle and most tender
violence, a passion veiled
by night and broken stars
littering the black bowl,
the soup of midnight sky,
and weeping, weeping an endless grief,
a blistering burn of sorrow,
a longing luminous and lasting
through the thrum and split
of the heart breaking open like overripe fruit
too long in the sun.
Such is love.
of the kind that drowns
and leaves the lungs gasping for air,
for the salt of the earth,
begging for benediction.