boating at night

the boat of course is metaphor
though it is, undeniably, night

and fingers do trail over the side,
but also over stern and bow

it is also true that we do move as water –
that hair cascades and skin ripples

but that again is metaphor,
for which I am unapologetic

and I cannot be at all contrite
for not minding stirring up depths

or were we to drown together
beneath the moon’s regard

in fact, my heart, that may be all
that is certain and indisputable

© Sarah Whiteley

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pearl from shadow

there is no finer promise
than the uncertain light
which finds you
from between the blinds
and casts you
in bewitching blue –

a hue into which my hands
are driven to dive –
pulling the pearl
from the shadow

© Sarah Whiteley

misinterpretation

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I perched there – my hands,
my words, undelivered,
on the edge of the porch –

I could not be otherwise,
though you were a hand’s-breadth,
(a breath’s-breadth) away

why leap only to be denuded,
disabused of what I’d only hoped
your hands had meant?

perhaps I’ve spread
the interpretation of your touch
ridiculously thin,

and shaped only future regret

© Sarah Whiteley

untitled

the moon has captured me
by the ankles, is
crawling through me
and I must burst
into new surfaces

this morning my hands
awoke, and for the first
time in years, ached
to find something other
than air beside them

but even without
the solid press of
your arm on mine, I
have found wonder in this
upended cup of stars

© Sarah Whiteley