Seaware by Sarah Byrne (Mays XXIV)


by Sarah Byrne


I prise the barnacles from the dishes
on the starboard side of our Belfast sink.

I lean over this white kitchen crib,
want to unstack my own ware:

my bones, my ribs, want to rinse them
one by one till they’re sharp and silver.

And just when I think it’s done, you bring me
one last piece from our evening meal,

a porcelain bowl which I drown so softly
in the water, holding its crown for minutes

against the ceramic floor. It swims back to me
of its own accord, still dirty – covered in sand.


(from The Mays XXIV)