Sea Ranch Psalm

Vast emerald all day,
at dusk the sea turns to ink.
The sky, a bonfire.
Now let it be what it must,
though you will ask, Why? What did I do?

A full moon opens her white coat
to the dark matter of it—
the all-night breathing of sea,
its all-night breaking.

You were given a heart like a busted window,
and through it, arrives the gold
of late summer headlands
and one black marble
salted with constellations.

This man too, his rough hands,
and a dog the color of honey,
beside you at the end of a country.

Already the shadows throw down
their lean graves across the bluffs.
Deer rise up from hunger
and graze under the swerve of bats.

Or so the man must tell you.

Let blindness enter before you can imagine
what will take the place of your dread.

Say it will not be desolate.

Say that even in this new dark,
a sparrow begins its two-note trill
to keep count of the whole
going out, the whole coming in.

Beginning here, you will have to let trust
unfold like a softening seed.
And not just the man’s hands,
but whatever you touch—
you will have to let your fingers need.

Copyright © 2022 by Julia B. Levine. From Ordinary Psalms (LSU Press, 2021). Used with permission of the author.