This fossil flower smoothed by years of caresses no longer rests in the hollow of her neck.
Half a life ago she sailed in a boat with a wine-red sail from Gotland: god’s land - ’though you wouldn’t know it -
to a smaller isle in the Baltic Sea where a wind-crippled juniper grew and sheep could no longer graze. Here was Bergman’s mis en scene;
an unlikely setting for love; no place for a woman who lived barefoot among frangipani and hibiscus.
But the man at the helm was subtle as a homing serpent; fine of touch; he sought nature’s purity of shape in glass design.
When she looked down - those thirty years ago - she saw the fossil, porous a blossoming of tiny skeletons
and became absorbed imagining rainbows coral and fish swarms when this chill world was warm.