Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This from Southwest Review, fall 2012.

for Tom Bell

Time, a star, sextant, and chart will fix
your place on the ocean’s shifting page
while its transitive grammar slips unread
past hull and spars—the run-on syntax
of currents and winds, the tidal motifs
and punctuation of reefs and lee shores.

Sight the sun at noon and note the degree
of its height at the moment of its fall. 
Reckon your place, mark X on the chart, 
and there you are. Now plot your course
to virgin beaches you’ll never reach.
Turn from the wind, trim the blank sail,

watch it fill with the log of your voyage,
which will only reveal where you have been.

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