Aphrodite and the Sleeping Horses

Sleeping Horses Iona

The horses are asleep
so Aphrodite slips in through the loaded sea
comes ashore and looks around

i’m run aground with my tottering rosary of shells
the air swirling with the grief-stricken calls of oyster-catchers
so at first, i don’t see her
but then
her slipper prints pearl beneath the bladder-wrack tell me that she’s here

did n’t you know that she writes messages
and leaves lug worms to post them in the sand as the tide goes out?
That she salts breezes tails and flanks with a clear day bright as a needle?
Bobs orphaned rock pool weed out on a turquoise sea?
Best of all she shines the blue glass bead of a cormorant’s eye

Just as the horses wake and the sky resumes its call
she huddles into air- borne seeds to become
thrift wall pennywort roseroot

white spume

i tie the shells around my ankle
and begin to walk


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