Reading a Memoir at Cedar Island
We arrive eight hours before morning
but the Sound luminesces enough to gloss
jabbed brushstrokes of cedar, the strand
prickled with fringes of eelgrass,
and the world's baby teeth ground down
to this pall of sand.
It's gusting so strong I can barely pee straight —
You can see in each stunted and strung-out
live oak the shape of the wind's hands.
On this last stand before the Outer Banks
Sharon makes camp while I pay twenty quarters
to shelter stunned
and out-of-context. Such bare slubs of land
the memoir I'm reading calls griefscapes.
The groove fits my tongue
so for forty more pages I keep the light on,
pulled by a man oaring
his way through childhood to a stung
and moondamp first place, all slap and vowel
and grunt-pine punctuation, the no-way-satisfied
lessing & moring
of the tideshore. I knew in advance of reason
this freight of rain, salt in my hair.
That child I was, what was she mourning
before death charged his first fare?
We wake and hurry to slip our moorings.
The ferry's there.