Bare feet, buried in the warm softness of sand
Particles spread out across the way like
a galaxy of shining motes footprints, marks of a percussive song
too high-pitched for the ear Fingertips might leave marks, too, where
they press, where they stroke, where the nails bite ripples that fade with the ebb and flow of
improbable, inevitable meetings and salt-water partings
Water is reflective, it echoes back the stellar light on my arms
but, though I know myself a constellation,
cold light piercing soft skin – you, you are the sky, soft dark-winged night spilling freckled stars out as sands
sifted together and spread across a chart of skin mapping tides where we may flow and pool,
mountains where we could rise, where birds nest
and fledglings tentatively break wing bracing to the cold air for the first time
a shifting and holding topography
with a fixed star a polar lip note singing
I dream of how a star might taste, of
what it would mean to set my lips to her
to feel her burn into me to know her as she guides me home to myself in a shared sky
where lone celestials hold one another
drawn into binary embrace by the gravity of their longing
I feel fingers pressing into the soft clay of me
reaching inwards to touch my core, restless on this land of gneiss,
sandstone, granite and basalt – dark and pale bands run together as if the very stones were dreaming of hearts laced one into another.
Oh, to break an island free from its moorings! To sail it as one might a boat – hey, ho! – around
and around until it rests, embraced by sand
or to build wings, a waxed feather at a time, and arise on an updraft of my own breath into a sunlit ocean shimmering above the open sky.
I have a tail for each of my loves, they who are feline, vulpine, elemental – wind, storm, lightning – fierce yet soft, kind
divine sparks gazing out through human eyes,
eyes I am losing and finding and losing myself in
together, we are a heartbeat and a wave
reaching between continents.
I stand shore-side, eyes closed,
feeling the breath of the wind
as kisses on my cheeks,
fingers in my hair
and I am finding my way home. I will be a sunshower falling into their open palms.
I will be a wave crashing on their shores my tails whipping up the foam in my wake as I awaken in soft and strong arms.
Alessa Raine Catterall (she/her) is a queer, Scotland-based poet and songwriter. She looks to poetry as a literary container within which to soothe the past and to dream the future. Much of her inspiration is drawn from movement and the sea. Her work has previously appeared in Aloe magazine. Follow her on Twitter @alessacatte.