Derek Walcott

Rookie (23 January 1930 / Castries / St Lucia)

Coral


This coral's hape ecohes the hand
It hollowed. Its

Immediate absence is heavy. As pumice,
As your breast in my cupped palm.

Sea-cold, its nipple rasps like sand,
Its pores, like yours, shone with salt sweat.

Bodies in absence displace their weight,
And your smooth body, like none other,

Creates an exact absence like this stoneSet on a table with a whitening rack

Of souvenirs. It dares my hand
To claim what lovers' hands have never known:

The nature of the body of another.

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010
Edited: Saturday, November 19, 2011

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