Emptier than these vacant shells is the truth
and it, too, lies strewn across the sand
shimmering in the sun, burning white
and whispering of death, dearest, like an ancient song,
of decaying legends in a forgotten voice:
What you desire is a myth of the sea.
They said I was a child of the sea,
and how could you have known it for the truth?
I would have told you, dearest, but my voice
has not been mine for so long. It lies rusting in the sand
with every other secret I had, with every song
strung with pearls and dead coral bleach-white
– as I was when we met, elaborately white.
There is scant sunlight in the graves of the sea;
darkness settles only on haunting siren-song.
There is death in not knowing, and death in the truth
discovered too late, half-buried in sand;
I am almost glad, dearest, that I did not keep my voice,
When I hear the sea croon in its stolen voice,
playing a jealous lover all dressed in white
and blue-green-black seaweed speckled with sand.
It is not easy, dearest, to belong to the sea,
to be cold as death, empty like the truth
breathed into lingering, longing spirit song.
For the sake of the sun I forsook my song;
for the sake of your shore, I forsook my voice,
and this, dearest, is the truth
laid, gleaming, bare as bones and as white
as the skin of maidens and monsters in the heart of the sea,
ageless and timeless as glass-trapped sand.
My voice is the shifting tide on the sand,
flowing and forsaken like a long-lost liquid song
but wordless, tuneless as the sound of the sea.
You asked me, dearest, about my voice,
about my past and my skin shell-white;
will you believe this empty truth?
Ask the sea, ask the brine-scattered sand,
and hear them whisper my song, speak in my voice
from a shell of empty white, the colour of truth.
Note: inspirational credit to Neil Gaiman.