To think that young mind, unrecognizably mine
carried the frescoes of Knossos inside it.
And Zyklon B. One to the other. Palaces and ovens.
All while the sea rolled its pinpricks of light
again and again like a gambler throwing it all
regardless. Then with the flood tide
came thorn-hairs, half-jobs, years on barbs,
on barbs., the fugue of distillery chimneys,
gangways rotting and falling away in the hands,
and longing all the while for the unobtainable,
its slow calcifications, the body feeling its way
towards love and unlove,
up to the rank smell of the returning shore
as it works over seaweed and jellyfish domes
in this last pewter light. Above, below,
and all around is the well.
No drop ever echoes. The absence of sound
is like waking out of being awake.
Published in Poetry Review Summer 2014