The sea is calling to my body today,
and I must go.
Leaving the dishes dirty in the sink,
the garden dry and unwatered,
I pack quickly, the bare necessities: water,
 crackers, and a towel.
It is the same sea that surged
in your blood, that flowed and ebbed to
the moon, that called to your soul,
called in dream, then called
even in the day, so you couldn’t
stay, you  had to go.
The same sea that called to your
 ashes, that called to me
from the altar where they lay in a bag
in the carved Kashmiri box,
called all night and all day, and I,
fully clad, waded in
till the waters covered my head
and my feet no longer touched
the solid earth.
There, by the rock where the seals
dozed and slept, I removed
the bag from my pocket,
and released the solid
residue of your combustion,
gritty, like sand (remains of mountains),
and the soft pulverized powder

billowed like a cloud around my body,
before dissolving into the blue.
But though I released your ashes,
I did not relinquish you
to the sea.
For three years I, angler in eternity,
have held on as tight as my tackle
would allow, to you,
man turned fish, straining
against the line of my raw heart,
fought you, fought
the tide, tried to ride it
 while you ploughed further and further
into some deep blue mystery beyond,
past the threshold of time, I held on,
and dared to land leviathan.
But instead, of  course,
was drowned.
Down, I went
in the footsteps of Ishtar,
to the dark tombs of Irkalla,
where black tar absorbed all light,
to retrieve her lord of seeds,
from corpses, bones, and ash.
And now the earth has turned,
the line of sorrow
all played out, the dark
struggle over, for I have learnt
to bow my head,
dive at the feet of the mighty waves,

go under, save myself
by surrendering.
Today I am returned to the shore,
glorious dirt beneath my feet,
to snap the string, to rejoice, 
rejoice,  like the earth
from ash
to fruit again.

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