Shanty

by Ricardo Zegri

Arms raised like cobras

charmed by the zurna,

she conducts the waves,

all cymbal crashes and timpani drums,

tubas, basses, cellos,

until the treble of flutes and bells

 

rise on the foam,

and the death rattle of vibes crescendo.

Fingers reach

 

towards running legs

retreating to dry land.

Those too slow

 

fall into the music,

tumble with seaweed

to be spit out on shore,

 

to spit out salt and laughter.

It is there, with sand in her hair

the spell is cast

and she breathes along with

the lung of the world;

the bellows of god,

 

sighing

breathing

screaming

 

operatic, in harmony.

Never has the water

sung just this way,

 

with these rhythms

and it never

will again.

 

She finds a gull feather quill

and writes a poem

in a secret language

 

known only to her

and the ocean.

She scoops up the words

 

in two fists,  

lets them fall

through her fingers

into the surf,

a soft rain.

Each grain,

 

the beginning

and ending

of a song.

Ricardo Zegri is a SF bay area native, writer and musician. Ricardo's writing has appeared in the Welter Literary Journal, Paragon Press, Rum Punch Press, The Gyroscope Review, and Mind Equals Blown.

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October 2018

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