As they sung your brothers into the sea,
So did you sing them to the shore:
Their tales dulled by moonless night
Gills dry and clenched, seal-eyes afraid;
You might have ended the whole thing there
Instead you walked into the sea.
Full fathom five their dead bones lie;
The stars fade out at two or three
The air at four, blood ocean-chilled
(you breathed from a bag;
you sang as you choked).
Full fathom five your brothers dance
on seaweed-strings for clapping hands
that stir the water, flood the fields
wash the hens into the deep
to lay tourmalines and tinted glass
into the slippery hands of fish.
Full fathom five you sing the change
into something rich and strange
with fins to walk; tree-hands to grasp;
red claws to clutch and gills to gasp
splayed on the beach, alight with the sun,
shell-brides in arms, oath-chains undone
and you singing your gasping shore-song:
blue-breathed and strange
singing them back.