Kelp Poem by Anthony Lawrence

Anthony Lawrence

Tamworth, New South Wales

Kelp

Rating: 4.0


This pliable, light-keeping amber stem,
fleshed with sea leather
and a hollow, reef-tapping cup

is enough to take me into and beyond
the six lyrical syllables
that complete and illuminate your name.

There have been other triggers
for this mantra, in which air and water
feature tellingly in its use

and frequency: the yellow tail
on the paper kite I made for our son
rippled audibly, distracting him

from where he stood at the waterline,
throwing stones. He looked up,
heard your name repeated

in his father's words, then turned
his hand to finding crabs
in the gritty seepage a lifted rock reveals.

Underwater footage of a kelp forest:
tidal surge as wind in the tight, dark
weave and sway of the canopy,

and I return to find you in the bath
with a flannel draped over your eyes,
the dense, contained map lines of your pubis

moving almost imperceptibly
when you change position or thought
beneath a dream-preserving cloth.

This amber stem. This long-tailed paper kite.
To think of them is to say your name,
again and then again, with love.

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Anthony Lawrence

Tamworth, New South Wales
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