Those Washed By the Sea
I am the first to tumble gray
through the ruddy pallor, the unmistakable
grin with its long, delicate tongue
forked veins I accept rounded,
dull into me.
Gulls, terns, unpredictable ravens.
Exchange your writhing catch,
your half-digested insects, your feathers,
for a word or two on your beauty
and your praiseworthy, insistent pecking
this dawn from my palm.
Of the newborn suns I’ve known
pristine as newly-awakened kisses
and slow memories of four-handed pianoing,
the one catching this fiery black sea crest
will not fade like a clown’s joy
nor a tree’s steady reflection,
for I am two steps behind it
and cannot outstretch my arms.
I cannot see myself in the erupting rebirth
so how can it pass on to the next?
How can it pass into disappeared friends
like a wind-struck flag
Blood crusts the tattered rags
dawn gives me to cleanse it.
Dried, all fluids gray and leave echoing rings.
Those washed by the sea
are no exception.
-published by Seven Circles Press