Friday, July 27, 2007

"On the Edge" version 5

To the boy

You’re no boy. You’ve so cleanly shaved the dark
from your pink face, tamed those curls with a trim.
You’ve dressed yourself, picked from the closet
a handsome kit, fastened to your wrist a slender ticker.

To the seersucker

Bespoke, custom-cut, hand-stitched,
even so some threads bunch, it’s the weave
gives you that pucker, which feature
lets in what stirs in high heat a summer.
Blue-and-white pinstripe number,
to normal wool cool alternate,
but what to wear with you? It’s a light
buckskin lace-up with sole of red rubber,
paisley blue tie, a pink button-down,
white pocket square and hat of brave straw
that won’t overdo. Though suspenders? A no.
Where to take you today? Coast?

To the boy

Down from the road, along a narrow path
cutting through a shallow turf, you took your shoe.
Aren’t you debonair, the air rare
at the cliff’s lip, one lone gull taking a share?

To the cliff

The face you offer, varying grades
of slope, the drop in places just air
all the way to black sand and graywacke,
seething white wave-shatter,
foam yellowing on softened lost
telephone poles, the odd striped polystyrene chunk --
when Pacific gales wash it and the softer
sands and gravels fade to stubble
of orange peridotite and the shale sheared
with serpentine, crystals of grass green
omphacite pyroxene amid a pox of garnets,
flaky muscovite silver, blueschist
with its amphibole, glaucophane, lawsonite,
slickenside grooved, nappes of chert
pressured red – what’s the look of it,
even then steady? indifferent? compassion
for all things jetsam? before the reaches of ocean,
the daily drop of the sun into it, is that passivity?
a grand passivity? preoccupation with the self?

To the boy

Now you’ve looked up, all the sky white
as the seagull’s breast, as the dash the surf makes
against a stonestack poised in surge. Unfold your arms,
sleeves aflutter. Let them spread out wide.

To the gull

Of no great size you hover, the wind good
for holding you up, brown-eyes.
Your black-ringed yellow bill with the red beauty spot
opens to a sharp tongue and a jeer,
not to make fun, but to have that said.
Out to the black tip of each wing gray feathers
adjusting to the air rushing them, the green yellow
webbing between your toes spreading then folding.
This is no suggestion, is it? Not advice?
You’re not demonstrating the perfect example,
the only way to take the air, to take to it?

To the wind

You could carry him. You’d have to do the work.
But you have the power. You can sweep the kid off his feet.
Lift him up. Fill him with the distance you’ve traveled,
wave by wave across the wide ocean, empty into him
what you’ve picked up getting here, show him how you’ve come.

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