Tired, hungry, hot, I climbed the steep slope to town, a sultry, watery place, crawling with insects and birds. In the semidarkness of the mountain, small things loomed large: a donkey urinating on a palm; a salt-and-saliva-stained boy riding on his mother's back; a shy roaming black Adam. I was walking on an edge. The moments fused into one crystalline rock, like ice in a champagne bucket. Time was plunging forward, like dolphins scissoring open water or like me, following Jenny's flippers down to see the coral reef, where the color of sand, sea and sky merged, and it was as if that was all God wanted: not a wife, a house or a position, but a self, like a needle, pushing in a vein.
Henri Cole - 1956-
I found a baby shark on the beach. Seagulls had eaten his eyes. His throat was bleeding. Lying on shell and sand, he looked smaller than he was. The ocean had scraped his insides clean. When I poked his stomach, darkness rose up in him, like black water. Later, I saw a boy, aroused and elated, beckoning from a dune. Like me, he was alone. Something tumbled between us— not quite emotion. I could see the pink interior flesh of his eyes. "I got lost. Where am I?" he asked, like a debt owed to death. I was pressing my face to its spear-hafts. We fall, we fell, we are falling. Nothing mitigates it. The dark embryo bares its teeth and we move on.