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Read more poems by Debora Greger: Debora Greger Poems at Poetry X.

More poems by Debora GregerDebora Greger | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments (1) | Books by Debora GregerBooks by Debora Greger

Head, Perhaps Of An Angel

Debora Greger

		limestone, with traces of polychrony, c. 1250

           Point Dume was the point,
he said, but we never came close,
no matter how far we walked the shale
           broken from California.

           Someone's garden
had slipped, hanging itself by a vine
from the cliffs of some new Babylon
           past Malibu.

           Drowning the words,
the wind didn't fling back in our faces,
the Pacific washed up a shell:
           around an alabastron

           of salt water for the dead,
seaweed rustled its papers, drying them out,
until it died.  Waves kept crashing
           into the heart

           of each shell
I held to my ear like a phone,
but they were just the waves of my blood.
           And through it all

           I heard him say,
how could it be nine months ago
his grandson had taken his own life,
           somewhere back east?

           He was fifteen.
O Pacific, what good is our grief?
Something screamed at the sandy child
           who poured seawater

           into a hole.
Child, you'll never empty the ocean,
Augustine said.  How can I believe?
           The wet fist of a wave

           dissolved in sand.
Like a saint, a seagull flapped down the beach
in search of something raw—an angel
           with an empty pail?

           No, a teenage boy,
hands big as a man's, held a sea slug
quaking like an aspic.  Under a rock, another
           drew into its body

           a creature
larger than itself.  Live, said Death,
to child and childless alike, indifferently.
           I am coming.

Anonymous submission.

Added: 24 Feb 2003 | Last Read: 16 Apr 2021 6:47 AM | Viewed: 5448 times

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