An Aubade to Salt

Goodbye my sweet sting, 
the sea I hide behind

my eyes, the rivers of life
coursing within me.

Wave after ocean wave,
you have gone from seaside

holiday spray to nightmares
where the bitterness lashes

at the rigging and my lips
feel the kiss of the sea

long after a sweated sleep.
The deer seek you out,

their shadows moving
through forests for that one

rock to lick that will give
them life. I no longer have

a salt shaker on my table, 
and what the heart cannot

tolerate or the internal
organs absorb, becomes

a lover’s poison of pain.
I cannot kiss your crying

eyes so I will try not to
make you weep. Movies

where we sat with a bag
of salted popcorn are now

their stories rather than
their taste, and if I thirst

it is not because of what
I ate but because my body

is a freshwater lake, cool
and waiting to dissolve

beneath a blanket of clouds
the way stars dissolve 

when daylight comes 
and we part without tears.

Bruce Meyer

Bruce Meyer is author or editor of 64 books of poetry, short fiction, flash fiction, non-fiction, and literary journalism. He is the 2019 winner of the Anton Chekhov Prize for Flash Fiction, the Freefall Prize for Poetry, and was a finalist in the Tom Gallon Trust Fiction Prize and the Bath Short Story Prize. His most recent books are McLuhan's Canary (Guernica Editions) and Pressing Matters: The Story of Black Moss Press (Black Moss Press). Both will appear in October. His previous books include The First Taste: New and Selected Poems (Black Moss Press, 2018) and the short story collection, A Feast of Brief Hopes (Guernica Editions, 2018). A book of essays about his works will appear in 2020 along with a collection of flash fiction, Down in the Ground (both from Guernica Editions). He lives in Barrie, Ontario.