AN OCEAN LAY NAKED
To dream of the sea is to dream
of the salt in your blood,
and yesterday afternoon an
ocean lay naked, stretched before me.
I saw a seagull’s abstract eye reflect
the shape of a woman foundering in the water
her wet hair shaking against the curve
of her spine, sensuous as the smoke
from a stick of incense curling unhurriedly
to the vaulted heights of a mystery temple.
I lost something in the water,
the breakers crashing against illumination.
To know the salt in your blood is to see
a particular of the cosmos
cut from motion
whole in itself
the seagull’s eye peering down,
detached from the carrion eater dressed
in rags of vestal white.
Picking at the ocean’s dream, you see
yourself, finally, equanimity
faltering, nothing sacrificed to you
for what was lost.