By the briny sea by Sven Kretzschmar

By the briny sea
—for, and after, Sabrina Lorenz

We crossed the country in a car, heard the engine lapse
into silence at night to the rush and lapping of the Baltic Sea.
Six falling stars flew past sparse beach-side trees toward
the edge of the world – at our arrival, the end of summer.

I woke to gull sounds, attempts at wet prey gulled
by the gales; sun-skin; pebbles under feet; wrapped in an ocean
blanket of spray. Thoughts of quay walls; certainty;
a safety net. And I opened my arms inhaling saltwater smell

while my cardigan tried to lift off, escape my back.
The overskirt patterned my calf in a game of shadows
and light to the dance of billows and footprints
working off each other. The faint scent of seaweed and salt

on the wind, we fell asleep between dunes,
your marram grass hair combed by spray and sand-grained puffs.
All the birds had gone quiet over the dunes, feeling at ease
in their own company. And I filled my lungs

with salt-tanged air, a slow breeze like the season’s retreat.
Beyond an embankment, leaf by tumbling leaf the world faded,
opened a myriad of twig windows toward autumn clouds –
foaming waves parting an azure-coloured sail.

by Sven Kretzschmar


Editor’s Note: Rich imagery creates a space in this poem where the reader can experience the speaker’s journey as if it was their own.


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