Gulf Coast Lullaby

April 20, 2014
The orange sun sits in the swollen belly of the sky
And brushes the sailor knots from our hair
Beside it a crescent moonlight bend softly lends silver to the sea foam
Which we collect in ribbons to dress our sunlit bodies in

Someday I will marry a sailor
Someday I will marry a man
Who lives by the call of the salt and the sand
The hurricane wind blown in through our hands
African dust and howling from Cancer
Hemispherical grievances
That we stuff in glass bottles and cork
And set sailing in the ocean far far away
(“Every sorrow must be marooned someday,”
he tells me with a crescent grin)

The palm trees reach out, twisting fingers into the sky
While the horizon scaped with dunes and towers
Pulses, singing us syncopated ballads about
Pearls in the clammy hands of the fisherman's daughter

I guess in some distant swamp there is a fake princess’s castle
In some marshy plain, a Confederate grave
And somewhere in the cobbled streets of Ybor,
The ghost of Martí wanders, muttering
That he does not approve of that spitfire Castro

But for just this night I don’t care to make a thing out of any of them,
All those deep and political analytical things
Because I’ve left my pens and dictionaries back at home, in the deep muddy waters
That swell in the caverns of my more regimented mind

We lie in the waves that curl into shore
The only depths we know are the bottom of the deep blue sea
and the ticks and tocks strewn behind our third-dimensional steps

The sky, a bed of thunderheads
Bursts with a scream – the green flash – the birth
The sun is born in a shower of comets and stars and
Slips beneath the horizon to begin a new life in a different longitude
While the ocean tucks us in
Singing spacious songs from protozoan times no one remembers
To take us to dreams of blue prehistories where sea spit graces the silhouettes of unknowable shapes
and stars shine like pinpricks out on the blackness, like ships lost at sea
Moving and rocking us gently, gently
Rocking us gently to sleep.

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Birdsinger said...
Apr. 28, 2014 at 5:27 pm
This is such a pretty poem! Your choice of wording is perfect and your words create such strong emotion in my mind, along with a vivid picture. 
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