Today's poem is by Weston Cutter

The Former Pirate on His Way Back to Lisbon

                      I'm over
the overboard, know it
                      and the waves,
          how salt and gulp the sea
                      sings and tries:

held rope + hauled my wet-
                      formed form tremulant
          from the dark that will some-
                      day be home.

too many times fallen:
                      I've swooned
          for sights I could imagine
                      but couldn't

                      quite see,
have felt and been
                      too small a splash-
          to be human is to crave
                      a more

self with which to cap-
                      size, one body into
          another, amen, and I've
                      been scared,

                      yes, I've
fearfully searched the horizon
                      for cracks,
          a way to separate sea
                      and sky

                      and de-
spaired at the lack of a clear
                      divide I've hewn
          close to known land,

                      of which shoulder
to confront distant wind with;
                      I've been
          enveloped in prow-split spray
                      and have

about disappearing
                      into this
          or that

                      Have wondered,
in fact, if I hadn't already. I have—
                      deep cold—
          gasped + come to,
                      blinking toward

                      where I
should've been pointing all
                      along. I've seen
          brass sextants
                      whiten blue

on impact + bob once
                      before succumbing to
          a depth I fear +
                      need constantly

                      beneath me.
And stars: How could we ever
                      measure? We name
          that which lightens
                      and guides:

                      Point anywhere—
someone's tried to go home
                      tracing just
          that route, while what's

                      + surging
is all we ever know
                      of transit,
          the chaotic song one long
                      held note:


Copyright © 2010 Weston Cutter All rights reserved
from the Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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