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motifs in water and longing


I sing the song of wading

through the places where the missing is smooth,

where barefoot goes against the grain

of peachflesh sand, and toes trace lonesome grooves

like the dark trench at the center of a lover’s neck.


I sing the song,

hum some minimalist hymn of arterial motives,

the chant of tone-deaf dog sharks,

a stumbling archipelago of freight barges

and vacant thoughts, one mound of debris

disappearing after another

until we hear the faintest note fade

on the horizon—


a song to carry away all the rotten clippings,

the starfruit fish and oyster birds, the confusing taste

of citrus and gin on our tongues,

the twisted lemon pulse of a spoiled transatlantic life.


I sing the first glimpse of an empty shore,

the maiden rungs of all our ladders

sinking into the evening sea,

the final castaway tune of bottled effects,

the D.C. al Fine.

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