The sea assumes everything
is a gift, your final dry
breath, the nails
rusting in your rotting
pocket. You shared
the sea’s tidal desire
to reshape anything
it’s given. Grey green currents
rasping at knots and grain, inviting
shipworms to bore
into heartwood. Sea soaking
in again like it does
when it journeys disguised
as clear and saltless rain
and the trees
are still alive. It knows wood
better than your hands
and hammer did
but each finished piece
the sea gives back and leaves
on the beach is just a toy
it tired of. You once made
a fire of them and circled it
with friends and dance.
The infused salt made
the wood smoke
into an incense that was sweet.
The sea takes everything
as a gift and every callus
your body ever made
it washed away.

Published in Gyroscope Review (Winter 2023, Issue 23-1)