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Rick Rohdenburg

Cor Cordium


Bury me with Shelley in the weed-striped sand

by the mole at Via Reggio.

The first grave, after his three days’ walk

across the bottom of the sea.


Boat hooks and a team

hauled his body from its pit,

and Trelawney, that good ghoul,

rifled the pockets, built a pyre

of driftwood, measured oils

and spices, muttered spells. 


I knew you were a Pagan, not

that you were a Pagan Priest.

You do it very well, gilt Byron said.

Flames licked the saltwood.

The sweet smoke rose, white as an exhale.

But his heart, even by fire, was not consumed!

Trelawney scooped that cinder in an urn.


Oh, bury me with Shelley where the waves lope in,

gray, like smoke, and the wind whips up a temporale.

Lay me in the wrack and heap the hot sand over,

and my heart will smolder to a husk, then nothing, 

beside the singing sea.

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