Wednesday, August 08, 2007

“On the edge” version 7

Four Addresses

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 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 -

when Pacific gales wash it and the softer
sands and gravels fade to stubble
of orange peridotite and the shale sheared
with serpentine, blueschist with its
amphibole slickenside grooved –

what’s the look of it? steady even then?
before the reaches of ocean, the daily drop of sun into it,
is that passivity? a grand passivity?
preoccupation with the self?

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.

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?

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 those arms,
sleeves aflutter. Let them hold you up.

To the gull

Out to the black tip of each gray wing,
between your toes the green yellow webbing
folding, spreading, you hold it.

Your position? This must be your advice,
this the way to take to air,
your keep. Your hold.

The yellow bill with the red beauty spot
opens to a sharp tongue and a jeer,
not to make fun, to have it said.

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