Karen J. Kovacs is a Los Angeles writer and artist with poetry and short stories published in the U.K. and U.S., including Tears in the Fence, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and Grace and Gravity: Fiction by Washington Area Women. Her photographs appeared in The Galway Review, April 2020.

Son of the Sea-wave

for Dylan Thomas

Here on the leeside of your winding sheet
Your words pound through my sandy skull 
My blood fills in the beats between your heart not-beats
Red wavecrash on a welshboned shore.
A dream, no more. And yet—
A queer trick convinces me the pulse exists 
beyond the first uncertain fingers of the morning sun. 
In sea anemone and thunder I can feel your wrists

What I’m wondering
tickticktick is this: 

If moth and mouse, if morning glory and if grouse 
stretch forth through fuses green,
if periwinkle, firefly and goldeneye, 
Why not your bones, you son of a sea-wave
Why not your bones?

If turtle creeps in carapace to shelter under Queen Anne’s lace,
Why, when sparked by fuses too minute to measure 
any slug may rise to drink the saltless dew

Why, when I can hear your seaweed, fernweed 
voice here on the verdant leeside of the veil
where every mollusk in the briny blue is spared a fuse,

Why why why why why
not your bones, too?