blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1




Sun blurry as the lit wick inside a hurricane
lamp, salt, raw in its element, sloughing my throat
as I slipped into that archaic beneath,
saw the morning’s stinging tin, heard the whistle
and felt my body’s baggage hauled in
through finny waves, my arms dragging
yellow leis.

Tanagers loud against the bleached screen,
the teenager’s white-blond eyelashes as he laid me down.
I remember metal against my chest,
his hot and expert breaths,
thinking heartthrob, heartthrob,

my heart beginning its throb
beside the sea wasps’ sad gasping, their clear bodies
clouded with sand.  Mercy in the vagaries
of weeds, mercy in thickets
of ugly fish, mercy, mercy me, listening
to the continuo of waves,
the boy above me
softly crying.

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