Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Monday, February 14, 2005

Fish-Tale (Feb. 11, 2005)

I have made of that old
adventure wooing
you a fish-tale,
the bedded bliss
become an isle that
walked or swam but
most certainly got
full away. The story has
grown fins then flukes
in its retellings,
found a wavelike
slap-and-sloshing resonance,
the sound of crashing
shores I only dreamed
back then, tidally
awakened in your arms
at last. All that remains
is that sound -- a semblance
of wild love which is both
spring river and trembling
bridge, both love and
lover pouring forth in
one gout of song the
three hearts which no
actual kiss may staunch,
much less damn, the
way sea-walls may jetty
sand chapels for a time
but the sea swells
tide the ends of every
ocean to full blue.
Of that short time
that broke all my clocks
I now endlessly return,
and walk, like a shore,
up and down its ghostly
reaches, performing
stations of devotion
on the way. Here fresh
on the beach I drove
off into the night
an emptied, riven man --
Here by this stump of
broken mast I stood
at the bar, pounding
down three shots of
blue lactissima -- Here
by the moonlit mash
of waves I met you,
your face averted to
the band, your breasts
rising from a lacy blouse
to imprison me between
the ocean and its heavings,
the high heart’s saltiest
retrievings. And here
on a stretch of
shattered whelks and
scattered, sprawled weeds
is where we thrashed
together in one wilding
spume, a shout which
rang the bells of heaven
and returned, forever
seared and scarred by
your lips, or mine, or
some wakened pair,
delivered by the sea
and ghosting every each
and croon inside every
tidal day long since.
My fish-tale has made of
me the tunny, elusive
and sea-wise, the slipperiest
half of soul no man
may mount and vaunt,
the prize more priceless
every time I reel the
telling out. The one
that got away became
the tail in every wave,
a sea-wife who sings
below, our children in
these darkling verses,
swans of riven undertow,
a dark gleam of moonlight
on massed waters, the
brilliant folded crash
we found and woke together
that one night, now
every night to wash
the shores I dream.
My myth grows deeper
every time I sing
that mythic night,
like the ocean filling
everything the moon
left in its wake.
Have I told you about
that night when
from the deepest sea
a woman roused
the depths of me?


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