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Search and rescue



A kind of amnesia is upon me

that supposes the company of poets

safe harbour from loneliness


My gaze alights on each face-

a searchlight misreading waves as hands

reefs as bouys


Here I bob


I didn’t sink

saved by miraculously buoyant mother-breasts

I rose to a surface I barely recognized from land


The ascension was late; the floating body recovered,

limbs intact but not the senses


That’s why my eyes can’t read the room

Every face in the bookstore is an unpronounceable verb in a

tongue I lost twelve years at sea to sinking nouns


house   car   table   bed


I’m all stubs, shark torn

treading and eating salt

growing oceans


I want the gulls to be gulls

clouds to carry rain, not portents

faces to be faces not possibilities

so I let my gaze slide

throw my chest to the sky

ribs a victory,  precious air recovered

from stolen sips at the surface of that world

and breathe myself back into existence.


I despise the desire that someone inhale me


You don’t know the space I’ll fill

once all this useless oxygen is gone

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