Today's poem is by Rebecca Hazelton


It was enough to dream a small boat becalmed just in sight
of land, to hear the wild dogs ashore, growling low suspicion.
I didn't need to be the pilot. What chart could map the hoarse yells
unfolding in our throats? We'd lost one oar to a storm, another
to carelessness. We had only ourselves to consider,
our dwindling reserves, the tension of knots. The greater continent—
the scrub dunes that sloped us home, everything we'd rowed for—
smaller than imagined. There is no music among the bottom fish,
the dark shapes that circle tighter. How our skin peels, how we fray
like coreless ropes exposed to salt and air.
I've loved you in our shared animal outlook, our common odor:
sweat, salt, the acrid whiff of urine. Survival is the reddest color.
The bodies of others will bloat, not ours.

Copyright © 2014 Rebecca Hazelton All rights reserved
from Crazyhorse
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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