Some bloodied sea-bird’s hovering decay
Assails us where we lie, and lie
To make that symbol go away,
To mock the true north of the eye.
But lie to me, lie next to me;
The world is an infirmity.
Too much of sun’s been said, too much
Of sea, and of the lover’s touch,
Whole volumes that old men debauch.
But we, at the sea’s edge curled,
Hurl back their bloody world.
Lie to me, like next to me,
For there is nothing here to see
But the mirrors of ourselves, the day,
Clear with the odors of the sea.
Lie to me. And lie to me.
Howard Moss, “The Lie” from New Selected Poems, published by Atheneum. Copyright © 1985 by Howard Moss. Reprinted by permission of Estate of Howard Moss.
Source: New Selected Poems
(Atheneum Publishers, 1985)