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Head, Perhaps Of An Angel Analysis

Author: poem of Debora Greger Type: poem Views: 16

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            limestone, with traces of polychrony, c. 1250

           Point Dume was the point,

he said, but we never came close,

no matter how far we walked the shale

           broken from California.

           Someone's garden

had slipped, hanging itself by a vine

from the cliffs of some new Babylon

           past Malibu.

           Drowning the words,

the wind didn't fling back in our faces,

the Pacific washed up a shell:

           around an alabastron

           of salt water for the dead,

seaweed rustled its papers, drying them out,

until it died.  Waves kept crashing

           into the heart

           of each shell

I held to my ear like a phone,

but they were just the waves of my blood.

           And through it all

           I heard him say,

how could it be nine months ago

his grandson had taken his own life,

           somewhere back east?

           He was fifteen.

O Pacific, what good is our grief?

Something screamed at the sandy child

           who poured seawater

           into a hole.

Child, you'll never empty the ocean,

Augustine said.  How can I believe?

           The wet fist of a wave

           dissolved in sand.

Like a saint, a seagull flapped down the beach

in search of something raw—an angel

           with an empty pail?

           No, a teenage boy,

hands big as a man's, held a sea slug

quaking like an aspic.  Under a rock, another

           drew into its body

           a creature

larger than itself.  Live, said Death,

to child and childless alike, indifferently.

           I am coming.

Anonymous submission.


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