The open coffin waited in the room,
a stone in ocean tide, and I in waves
of salt was pushed against the stone, and paused,
and clung. My feet were bare, for I’d removed
my shoes, and stood with toes beneath the sand.
And bent towards the fissure, found the stone
was vast. The stone was black. My father’s face
inlaid the crack, his broken body’s breath
forever sunk. The water moved atop
my feet, its clasp an undertowing hand.
The stone was faced. The face was stone. The son
was down, and out in rising tide alone
with seashell raised in hand to hear (from far?
from near?) the howling wind from hollowed husk.

Matthew McLaughlin Malyon lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. His poems have appeared in various journals.

First published in Measure, Volume 2 (2007)