Errant Water
(Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Reinterpreted)

This was so much like her
pouring all the rivers into him
from sweet to brine to salt
along his lips and down his throat
drops spilling everywhere,
a trickle, a dripping,
errant water.…

This was so much like her
floods and waves rising
faster than the moon could pull
sirens drowned in her storms
giants buried in her tide
errant water

This was so much like her
whispering the oceans calm
in her sleep
and holding his breath in her mouth
his rocking hands of sea salt
tangled in her hair
and on her face
errant water.…

This was so much like her
not just a rising
but rebirth
from his arms and his hands,
trickling gently from his mouth
like a spell and a charm
words stunned to whisper
from staring at her form
clasped like a gemstone in the froth-wet shell
errant water
at her feet

So much like her
to be like errant water
teasing, playful
her smile just a hint
of oceans born in wells and springs
she is soft as sea foam, crushing as waves
and she might just drift
or everywhere
without ever holding her errant shape

—Alexandra Seidel