Laura Kochman



from The Bone and the Body


My feet dream                        the dream of my head
                     and together I walk down to the beach          dark rollers
each a house
            if I could see from underneath            the wooden arch above
                                                                    the plank seam
                                                                    the hinge of a barn ceiling
a sea of houses      their pitched peaks
                                                  traveling I cannot find                  their ways in.

            My toes touch the sill
                     a thin line lapping         edged in foam
                                                                      the inside, a set of sturdy rooms
                                                                      the outside, the sound around a hoof beat
as my feet dream a footpath into the sea

* * *



Here, behind
my house there is a spray hose.
                                                  To twist full of water.                                    To coil
at my feet           to clean              
                                               to lineate the water

to hold solid with my hands as though the cord belonging to a back

but I stand on the beach
                                         a bone between every finger.
            I find no sand
                                  between the vertebrae.
                                                                                                From this I learn to clean
                                                                               is to care
                                                                               is to take a hoof pick to each crevice
                                                                               is to smooth each white crest
                                                                               is to keep house.


* * *



A sandbar reaches out                         to hold my horse's feet
            too far from the beach
                                            the sand too white                             but we stand atop it

looking down to

     the eye of the ocean
                                      at the center of the sandbar where it funnels down to a dark hole.
The sand knows us
                           it shakes itself out of the water
                           becomes a valley of glass beneath us
                           opens wide the mouth         the eye                      the open door

* * *



The bone broken
                             gray shaft and teeth
           the head of the key like a ball joint.                         I have stolen

           what belongs inside a body        I could cut
                                                      into weathered wood
                                                                                     the planks of the pier
messages, myths
                                               from which fall shards of the story
                                                                                                   numerous as sand