Today's poem is by Michael Dickman

The Sea
                                                        for Franz Wright
                                                                and Denis Johnson

Everyone's first memory

First blue breath
first bath

Your loved ones swim out and back all morning tirelessly calling your name

All your enemies

Prospero helps the dead Neruda over the weird dunes
covered with bees
and scrub grass

gingerly stepping


the hypodermics in the jellyfish


My mother floats across the floor of our kitchen and kisses me on the forehead
My second memory

Smoking a cigarette

She's alive
but she's acting
like she's

That watery light people get sometimes
when they're first arriving
and when

leaving for good

The cigarette ash falling
into the sink

sounds like the sea


The foghorns
are spelling someone's

Not your name

Maybe they used to
but not any-

It serves us right to be alive

We move out across the water in our stupid bodies and blow out the breakers one by one


from our names
into some secret

Copyright © 2011 Michael Dickman All rights reserved
from Flies
Copper Canyon Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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