Ankh Spice

The conversation

Night’s tide speaks
in her sleep. The shoulder
of the beach shivers
with old language–
all the sounds
to unmake a body.
We are soft with water, built
unsolid. Any world’s edge
calls to us the same:
unpicks the skin, exposes
the rattle. You cannot answer
without shaking.
Even in the whet glass
of the morning
we come to walk on evidence:
under the poured delight
of the moon, a wrack
of small, heavy words
rolled from the water-
tongue. Translate
with the toes. Meaning,
all that matters
is here: listen; each fragment
that survived the deluge
its whole name known.
The mouth moves.
Each side of the shatter
a vastness of stars repeats.

Ankh Spice is a queer, sea-obsessed poet from Aotearoa New Zealand, author of The Water Engine (Femme Salvé Books, 2021). His poetry is eight times nominated for Pushcart Prize/Best of the Net, and was joint winner of The Poetry Archive’s PAN 2020 competition, and the Visual Verse 2022 Autumn Writing Prize. He’s a poetry contributing editor at Barren Magazine, and co-edits at IceFloe Press. Website:

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