Sea whispers to me in my drowning dreams,
and you who balance life and death must know
the debt to pay for treasure stolen thus
from those whose hurts and needs you’d sworn to heal—
blood gold with which you build on burning sand
fool’s fort to keep my heart and gift well-hid.
And if I wished to be their sacrifice?
My people’s fear now spills in hissing waves;
they know the sea god means to take his price.
Just hear! His call to me is calm and deep:
a silent slip into a lover’s arms,
brief storm, then stillness, peace—my part fulfilled.
Thanks to Jane Dougherty for sharing her two-sentence story inspired by this painting, and for inviting me to add this imagining of what happened next.