Tonight I dared to crawl beneath the sheets to be nailed down around me, waiting for my lover, she who enters without knocking, she who will unstitch my every seam along my thigh, my side, my armpit. She who carves a heart out of the heart and drops it down her throat. Sweet surrender this slow death in sleep as I dream the love-making is autopsy. How else will I be hers completely? Be her treasure box I said: a trove of pearls and stones, the ding of coins cascading through her fingers. The bird over her shoulder not a parrot, but an owl to be my mirror when I close my eyes and shape a moon-white bowl out of my face where she can wash the hooks of her caress.
from "A Brief History of Fathers Searching for Their Sons" [1. Parable]
There’s a man who sits on the shore every morning,
staring at the sea. And the sea stares back, defiantly.
It won’t release its secrets. I’ll give you an answer
if I take what you’re offering me, says the sea.
When the man begins to weep, the sea yawns
with indifference. Tears are abundant here. As are
sinking ships and broken hearts and moons that drop
like shards of shattered windows. Prayers crumble,
brittle against the Caribbean wind. There’s nothing
in your skies or on your land I haven’t swallowed.
Or spat right back. The man, defeated, rises, drags
his shadow—a shadow? Or a piece of cloth, a flag?
The sea keeps reaching for a closer look. The figure
blurs into the landscape and takes his story with him.
Waves crash against the rocks as if that sudden exit
hadn’t left the ocean waters floundering in wonder.
What was that? The question turns to driftwood
and knocks against the mass of land, thereafter
unanswered because the man never came back.
And so the sea sifts through its rubble once again
and again and again and again and again in order to
complete this puzzle—narratives left unfinished toss
inside memory forever. That’s why the sea comes
to the shore each morning looking for a man.