Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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Myself—be Noon to Him

He left
my plight
wild and still

as lyric. Moths
in the sea
plume. A freak

of lightning,
no storm. The tides’

to evade
the shore,
or crest.

If impatience. If
orbital motion.
Master it.

So? So? the sea asks.

I envy the one-word lexicon,

the sea’s singular mastery.
So!—to declare certitude.

So?—to not care.

And so much to not care about!

Description, namely,
every word testing

what’s real
only to fail.

Today I feel sad.

But somehow

this is wrong.
Gulls disappear

into the palest sky.
I feel quiet.
I am not quite myself today.

Gray wings and gray clouds.
Godwit birds outrun the tide.

Today I am a fragment of shell
thinking of him. So?

Yellow beach grass struck by surf.

Meaning is the wing
but I did not mean
so much as meander.

The black hurt
gnawing at.

The black hurt he deemed shame.

And where should I go
now that I’ve reached the sea?

I was thinking about a time
before war,

when the sea was not a border
and we dove

into the punishing
waves. Some shore-noises

I forget: the hour shifting

with the tide-turn
like an octave drop, sand-scatter

against our bodies, phantom cries
from phantom children.

I want to write a poem with nothing in it.
No more birds tracing the coast,

no anxious clock, no lists of loss, no song

other than . . . Midday
amnesty. Fragment
of sun. I think

this is not the same beach.
Too thin a shoreline,

too close to town.  end

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