I shall never rid you entirely of your insides,
Filled with oysters and crabs crawling over
The weedy acres of your belly — I drop
My nets into the mule sea, into the bray and
Mouthpiece to dredge the silt from your throat.
Forty years now I have labored, I am none the wiser.
Morning mist scaling an overcast sky —
Looms around me. O father, I pray to thee
To mend my life, my brittle bones, my
Calloused hands. White hair littered with brine.
My boat grunting to the horizon-line,
Stroking like an old swimmer winded —
Its hours are married to shadows of waves,
Dawn till dusk in a mourning.
No longer do I count the red stars, nor
Bask in the cornucopia of the day —
But rather I listen for the stroke of the end,
Scraping along the blank stones in the shallows.
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