Aden Thomas grew up in central Wyoming. His work has been featured in The Kentucky Review, Dressing Room Poetry Journal, and Third Wednesday. More about his poetry can be found at: www.adenthomas.com.
We formed a search party that night
and gathered at the edge of the ocean.
The tidal winds spoke to our lanterns;
each candle slumbered in succession.
When the others stopped and wandered off,
I remained to look the length of the shore.
I noticed the moon alone
highlighting the sand and the footprints there,
outlines like my own, leading out sea,
broken by the rhythm of the waves.
Rain holds dear its old lovers.
The dark runs after a favorite child, but not the middle one.
In the places where light sees through
asphalt has crayon in its blood.
Your shadows slip their chains and follow you home.
They find you at your doorstep
kissing the wind, it’s tongue like cinnamon.
You make love and all you think is halcyon.
Sidewalks drink the colors of the sky.
I heard your stray voice tonight
below the passing cars.
Those headwaters, where gravity wets its lips,
felt like giving you my jacket in the storm.
All night we wandered sands.
We saw the shorebirds in their rags.
They skirt the salty waves, the edges
that only together are possible.
They dipped their talons in white noise
along the rising foam.
Under a boomerang of tides
they flashed their silver feathers.
There we stumbled upon ourselves
in the owling of our hours.
The ocean intertwined.
Waves knew forever.
Our toes blended in swells.
The silver of our second skin
moved like a thing alive
just below the covering of sea.
Everything is born
again at sea. When I
made love to her
why, to slip my skin,
to shed my mind, to swallow
rivers of her hair.
The old story wasn’t true.
Once it rained a year
or more, but never long
enough to flood
the known and unknown
worlds. We made love
in those waters,
our arms were branches
floating on the sea.
Watching Your River Sleep
Sheets turn into rivers.
We are the tangled shores.
We diverge the distance.
Pillows bank the fluency of your hair.
The half-light from the window
paints the leaves on the walls in waterfalls.
There are archetypes I knew but never said.
The swells and undertows
still flow above the stones
we tossed in the water.
Where do those currents dream
they want to go?
I cannot rest. I would drown
myself to know.