Issue 37, Spring 1966
Removing my watch, pleased with the morning weather,
I dove—I would cross the Atlantic by myself Neither she,
Nor I, nor Brooklyn minded.
Still so near: I must swim harder. This striving
(On love's anniversary she had turned to mud in my bed)
For distance and brave attitude
Corrupted the serene wishlessness.
To be loved!—eyes dying, the reflection reflected...
It is true that for a little time peremptory shrewdness.
With no thought of "satin" or of arriving.
Became the querying solitude:
"While the citizens shudder and gasp, and embrace their dead"
—Petulantly I uttered a melancholy on the sea's graves.
A gull passes—rude
And abstract, limbs fatten.
With no gift to beguile, I must exhaust them or me.
No later than thirty kicks, perhaps in the diving.
All distance had fled;
The anticipation of violent liberty
Accompanied my cold strokes with lonely fitness,
Winsome with particularity. A gulp of saltwater crudely
Shakes the jittery contriving.
I floated in the shadow of waves:
Behind, past the harbor scurry, was smugly ambitious Manhattan;
Love, imagination and power are explorable seas.
I began talking to my knees.
Unkindly scissoring towards a kind
Of emotions: "My thing wept at me. Every while it flattened,
Except for unpleasant uncertainties." The noon shined.
I am forbidden to desire some haven;
The sky and whitecaps are mine;
The darkness smites with iron the iron sea
And the limestone of sunset, sediment of lonely intimacies,
Extending its lidded periphery.
Where are eyes for new witness?