March 2, 2004
Don't Forget to Breathe
I met him on the beach,
Sitting on the sand,
blond bleached beard poking through the windburnt face.
It was a face that spoke to me, and said,
"I'm just waiting, waiting for the bus."
I ate and I wait.
And I look to the sea and she
walks into the lighted room
that floats away as I breathe.
With that first breath,
I see her face, the beauty,
an age-old illusion substantiated
in that first breath.
Well bled she is,
an emaciated intelligence,
one that once flickered
with the flush of reality,
but long ago lost track,
now having only to look back at me,
tag my presence,
and turn toward the sea.
The sea, which is constant,
white caps moving whichever way I choose,
is a light chaos in the bright sun;
and beneath weighty waters
an infinite wetness is kept
impotent, in place,
by its own enormity:
Persia on the shores of Hellas,
lapping on the rocks,
and the fisherman stands against the tide
and says, "I stand therefore a man."
Please, sit down,
Do sit down.
The sands are warm but not white.
Sands are black, are brown, are yellow,
are green, blue and brittle.
And I fall, reassured, to the solidity of this deadened earth,
this strip of death between two worlds of life,
meeting the black beetle trekking his way
through mountain passes,
through heaving abysses erasable with a wave of my will.
To be so wrong,
poison thrushing through the veins,
buhbeatuhs in the sand:
So long ago it was
that shadows, substantiated,
became the tracks guiding my way
that now I, too, must wait for the bus on the beach:
Hope it will come to take me far away,
back home to the beach
where the grains connect,
and black clawed monsters crawl from beneath the whiteness
to tell me that I am not alone:
I have me.
You had to write,
always in order,
to hold on.
may be taken as an opiate
to relieve the pain of fragmentation,
I and thou in measured meanings
to cement the chinks.