THE PIRATE AND THE EYE
I would like to prove that shadows fall from space, for I have seen them move
Images alighting on our chests as we’ve slept, like smoke rising, like
Indifferent progressions over skin, or like pirate descendants from out there
Who passed, once, over the picked-white bones of a long-dead whale
That drifted still
To find the softening rocks at the bottom of the earth. Their poaching hands through inadvertent memory
Retrieve the same, clear action of ropes that their fathers, & their fathers too,
In the dark hood of many nights, had corrected
Into smooth silhouettes of lines against the ballast of their sails.
Yet, in their fine Manifest weight, their shadows are a proving of our shape, for you do not need to look
To discern, that when the skeletons fall
There is a sculpting of our bodies, like effigies in air. I do not mean to say
This is anything, but the proving of a distance
Of what we think we've seen. I do not mean
These are movements meant for us.
We remain as spareness,
Strapped, just-so, to existence, as if half-light premonitions. I can say this only
In that certain moment, when your voice increases to wake me,
To rise in solitude & in the centre of their action
To see starry darkness show its seams so we are white
Like freshly cracked chalk against the night.
Days like years later. Thrown my way, a multiplying image: What I wear curled, dried upwards in the sun.
Skin, leather, sleepless; homologous to the fabric of a day
Water damage from crouching out in rain— a yellow,
And hard. Limed likely, night on night...the beach in ebony
A body, me, and land in particles.
I am here at the bedrock city, an engineering.
I walk, I fold lapels, to lie neatly, as if acceptable. I am some dislocated tension kissing heels.
I am concerned
With the brilliance of distance,
With how stars are just dead light, and unoriginal
How they declare themselves in all directions, until
Given traction, the opposition throws
Shadows to our bodies in the dark.
You sleep on, and I wake.
They venerate an effigy of saints
And the sequence is reopened;
Because I can see, through the fog,
Through our closed position, we sit there
Still, upon the white obelisk, that lies
Resting on the stones beneath our feet