There we were, floating on the sea, the tide scrubbing us clean
Of all the loneliness that has now rested back on me, like a crow.
Now I feel dirty, distant from the innocence of a blackboard, unused,
That cold slate taste of chalk we had as kids licking beach stones clean.
But I think of the purity of your sweat on me like rain, the whiteness
Of ancient trees. Some things must be worn into beauty, corrupted clean.
People fold to profane rhythms of the earth, but God shapes this:
We are ambergris upon the water, with time the foul can be fragrant.
You stand up naked, brown back shining in the afternoon light, leave me lain
Glistening under the fan. When you’ve wet your black hair who will be clean?