Weekend Poetry: Sea Memory and other poems
The son of the neighbourhood nazis
made her come, washed her hair,
lit the smooth, white fingers of two tsigára.
These gestures she embraced
like letters hand-delivered from the front.
But there is no front haunting her,
save the Fascist face of Athens’ back-
footed hydra. A clean scalp,
the sterile ash – not so soothing
when recalling her lover’s excuses
stalling. Men will say anything,
will not say anything, if they think
it will get them somewhere.
What would he have her say when face-
to-face with the mother and father –
‘Oh well’ to hatred taking place at home?
What to tell her friends in England
braced for another Victorian Britain?
What to make of Europe turning alien...
Bereft, she thumbs her phone.
Seeing the Pacific for the first time
taking in the drive-in of the elements
Sun-charmed vapor churning the air
streaking the sand and the hood of the Ford
Came through Aberdeen
in the state named after the founding father
with pioneer and native under wheel
Flickbook outskirts blending into the suburbs
of a Rorschach fishing town
blending into the suburbs’ flickbook outskirts
And unbelievably there they were
the shore the surf the sea the sky
arrayed in strips
a Rothko realized
All morning, all afternoon,
this popping sound
coming from the woods.
Not the rhythmic champing
of the tree-feller’s chore,
but a sputtering –
a bubbling, populous hubbub.
It skips over private land
and plays on the ear,
like a child in a shut-down
Night piles up,
the popping sound
The next morning – breakfast
of bullets of flesh,
their skins pierced, one
by one, lest a popping sound
disturb the peace.
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