And water lies plainly

- 1953-
Then I came to an edge of very calm
But couldn’t stay there. It was the washed greenblue mapmakers use to indicate
Inlets and coves, softbroken contours where the land leaves off
And water lies plainly, as if lamped by its own justice. I hardly know how to say how it was
Though it spoke to me most kindly,
Unlike a hard afterwards or the motions of forestalling.

Now in evening light the far-off ridge carries marks of burning.
The hills turn thundercolored, and my thoughts move toward them, rough skins
Without their bodies. What is the part of us that feels it isn’t named, that doesn’t know
How to respond to any name? That scarcely or not at all can lift its head
Into the blue and so unfold there?

More by Laurie Sheck

What Is the Difference

Stein asked what is the difference. She did not ask what is the sameness. Did not ask what like is. Or proximity.  Resemblance. Did not ask what child of what patriarch what height what depth didn’t use a question mark but still wondered at the difference what mutinies it carries over what vast Arctic what far shore.

What is the difference between blind and bond. Between desk and red. Between capsize and sail. Between commodity and question. A lively thing, a fractured thing. To smile at the difference.

(Such gray clouds passing over. Thick, wet sky.)

What is the difference between mutiny and dust. Between noose and edge. Between brittle and obey.

Between shunned and stun. What is the difference.

As now, Mary Shelley’s monster flees to the north, his sack of books his lone companions.