®

Today's poem is by Paul Groves

Christ of the Deep
A large replica of Guido Galletti's religious sculpture
is sited in twenty-one feet of water off Key Largo.

Grouper nose me.
Striped bass make a pass,
a bombing run,
over my forehead.
Bonefish exhibit a certain curiosity.
That which I walked upon I stand under.
This baptism lasts forever.
The sea cries itself to sleep over
continental shelves, sloping shales.
Snorkelling evangelists love me.
Glass-bottomed boats leave me
gasping in their wake,
for this is Florida
and rubbernecks must return before
the happy hour.
Thank you, believers,
for such positioning;
yet the gesture lacked originality.
I am Christ the Copy.
The real me, my alter ego,
guards the Old World waters off Genoa.
Here my disciples are snook and flounder,
pompano and bluefish.
Like the shark I never sleep.
My arms are raised eternally
in a hopeless gesture of forgiveness,
a drowned futility relevant only to the likes
of this black mullet which,
like Judas,
mouths my cheek.



Copyright © 2002 Paul Groves All rights reserved
from Wowsers
Seren Books / Dufour Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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