Issue 157, Winter 2000
Lemnos, you harbor me, moon-mountained
and reticent, motionless in flux.
Dusk festers too long in the distance,
detonations of light fire the shore
stranding along the water's edge a
salted boundary of calx. I cast
beneath me on this blasted boulder
the mad image of a goat, pacing
with my rogue's beard and jerky hobble.
In your currents my atrophied feet
refract into broad peninsulas;
sea urchins swallow their shadows whole,
unlight themselves like exploding stars.
I, too, batten on this wave-sucked cliff,
blinded in one mind and drunk with praise.
To bellow for home is blasphemy:
the words dissolve like salt on my tongue.
Stay? That idea remains shut up.
For me escape is always the same:
the sea sends a goddess to tell, wings
appear where I misplaced them, secret
as the buoyancy of wood. I sail,
follow the moon's trailing signature,
ship and me bound for some Africa.
Don't say this is a dream—don't swallow
me now, whisper nothing to unmoor
me, dark water. The mainland is far.