When seaweed is Medusa’s hair
the powder for her wig
is salt, a menacing grind
of dried out sea-spray.
Mint, the finished colour,
lies in trails on crusted sand; we
feel it safe to step on a tendril,
pricking of granite in our pores.
Rain will put the hiss
in this tangle; snake-skin
tongues meeting drop.
Before they placed you in the sky,
you were already stitched from stars . . .
Star of grace: more lustre than light,
outshining a dangerous rival.
Star of hope: you shivered alone, water
a lapping ghost at your heels.
Star of a saviour: he wielded a sword,
sharper than each crested wave.
Stars uncrossed: you linked up, fell
in love with your slayer of monsters,
buried their heads as you lifted your
own; cheek to cheek to a night dance.
I wash my sandstone hands in the sea,
counter their heat with icy surf,
but the red has seeped deeper, settles
in the gaps between knuckles, travels
in dotted pain
to a place where my heart beats full and bloody,
pounds every step, every household task,
and I wonder if water is only a liquefied version
of sun, burns and brands as much as it cleanses,
makes me detest my own skin.
K. S. Moore's poetry has recently appeared in New Welsh Review, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Honest Ulsterman, Boyne Berries, The Stinging Fly and Southword. Shortlists have included: Trim Poetry Competition, Americymru West Coast Eisteddfod Poetry Competition and Blog Awards Ireland. K. S. Moore shares poetry and other thoughts at ksmoore.com.