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Sand Flesh and Sky

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Our ropes are the roots
of our life. We fish
low in the earth,
the river beneath runs through our veins,
blue and cold in a riverbed.

When the sun comes up,
the moon moves slowly to the left.

I tie the logs and limbs together,
holding them in place.

The ocean beats them
smooth like rock.
Here my sense of time is flat.

I find in a strip of damp sand
footprints and marks of hands,
and torn pieces of flesh.

Night is a beast.
The tide moves, gushing
back and forth.

Sunlight touches our faces,
turning us, turning us, turning us
in our morning sleep.


         1976

Clarence Major, "Sand Flesh and Sky" from Configurations: New and Selected Poems 1958-1998. Copyright © 1998 by Clarence Major. Reprinted with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townshend, WA 98368-0271, coppercanyonpress.org.
Source: Configurations: New and Selected Poems 1958-1998 (Copper Canyon Press, 1998)
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Sand Flesh and Sky

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