Burials at Sea

She appears again, this time reading the phantom script
of my spine; beginning at the neck she thrums down
my vertebrae, lighting a match for every bone 

places two drachmas in my mouth.
strings a chord of her hair around my jaw.
She does this while I am still alive 

as if she visited the time of my death
and has returned to begin the preparations.
There is a strange wailing in the distance.

I turn my head to look, through the gap
between her arm and half-scaled waist,
at the stone towers tumbling into the sea.

She understands light in a way that I never could
because she understands time, or rather, revokes it
in place of water, tries to show me this 

by going deeper into the sea
her palm placed on my bare chest pushing
me down as she undulates towards the bottom. 

There we see the sunken lantern, still lit
A waning gibbous moon resting in the silt
tiny fish flitting about the cracks in the fissures.

The incandescence slowly fades from white,
to yellow to black and then, we are inside
resting on the beach light as the current hymns over the glass. 

She points through the lantern cracks
to another tired mass in the watery distance
behind it dozens more appear,  

as if the sea were clearing itself for vision
to reveal the wreckage, lighthouses turned to their sides the rubble
flowing out of their bases like entrails.  

There will be more she says while pulling kelp from the sand
She takes the flagellating green strand and covers my eyes
tells me Enough looking for answers.

Anastasios Mihalopoulos

Anastasios Mihalopoulos is a Greek/Italian American from Boardman, Ohio. He received his MFA in poetry from the Northeast Ohio MFA program and his B.S. in both chemistry and English from Allegheny College. His work has appeared in Blue Earth Review, West Trade Review, Ergon, The Decadent Review and elsewhere. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of New Brunswick. Find him on Instagram, Twitter, or his website.