Today's poem is by Robert Whitehead


When you talk about the sea you call it a cradle
and cry in it. Do you love the sea? You love
the sea. Do you know this love even when
the sea is a temple in exile? When
the sea is a sacrament that changes you.

The book mystified love, or else gave up on it—
the sea was written full of predators
stuck with happiness at hurting the sea.
Did you close the book then?
You did not close the book: mackerel fangs,

sunken ships with bully ghosts, a dirt the water
had no choice but to contain. Because the real
sea stood miles gone, you started to believe
things could get so bad: volcanoes, baskets
of wet snakes, the undersea edge the earth drops

off of. Do you still love the ferocious sea?
You love the sea more.'Ihe colossal havoc.
You love that when you remember the sea now
it is holding onto you with a shadow's insistence.
What was the sea you loved as a cradle?

It was a cradle, it kept you afloat for a while.

Copyright © 2014 Robert Whitehead All rights reserved
from Gulf Coast
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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