Poem 65 Revised

the Water and the Wake

 

When the sea cracked out came a memory

She was a tree limb, she is a ship—all at once

Rootless and full of sky. A ship mistress

Ark’d against the mast, in ecstasy over trouble-waters,

Gulls gailing siren cries make for eyes, her chin

The endless compass of the sea. How many years

Did she live under-sod before they un-buried her bones

How many more can she hold her breath,

Drifting on the whims of a headwind.

—ECW

 

Poem 65 Edited – Poem 65 Original

Poem 65

a second draft. i’m unsure.the water and the wake

I remember oozing from the crack in her. She was a tree limb; she is a ship.
I can still recall the white milk spilling out across the sea. A ship with a
wooden mistress leading us starward; arms outstretched and I came
from the deepest hull where the water beat drum-desperation against her broad sides.
I remember clawing at the gravel and reaching the caliche. Fracturing
every fingernail on the desert backbone and wishing still there had been water.
I reminisced of coming up for air after swimming for centuries in blue-bleak
blackness and gritting my teeth with sand for sanctuaries. Oh pity.
How many years did I live under-sod before they unburied my bones?
How long can I hold my breath; waiting for the tide…
–ECW