18 April 2009

poem-a-day * day five

Along Water Street

You didn’t believe in reincarnation,

but you are the harbor.

You shed your faded pink blouse and blue jeans,

spread your arms and don the sea,

wrap it about your shoulders

like an inky blanket flecked with buttons of pearl.

Your legs are the pillars and the tired, faded boards of the pier

that hold up the people of this city, that keep me walking,

keep me watching for the sun to reach down from the steel grey

of a cloud-covered sky and kiss my eyes.

Some days I want nothing more

than to go back to sleep and wake

with one hand holding the red ribbon of a balloon

and the other tightly in yours,

walking the boardwalk

smelling handmade soap

and fresh roasted peanuts,

a time when the barnacles and limpets

competing for space underneath the wharf

didn’t make me think of cell division and metastasis.

I don’t know where I will go when I die,

if I will find peace in the dirt of a grave,

or if someone will smell me

in the saltwater wind

or see me in the turning prow

of a green and white tugboat

leaving the harbor

again and again.

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