This is where you leave me.
Filling of old salt and ponderous,
what’s left of your voice in the air.
Blue honeycreeper thrashed out
to a ragged wind, whole months
spent crawling this white beach
raked like a thumb, shucking, swallowing
the sea’s benediction, pearled oxides.
Out here I am the body invented naked,
woman emerging from cold seas, herself
the raw eel-froth met beneath her tangles,
who must believe with all her puckering
holes. What wounds the Poinciana slits
forth, what must turn red eventually.
The talon-mouths undressing. The cling-cling
bird scratching its one message; the arm
you broke reset and broke again. Caribbean.
Sky a wound I am licking, until I am drawn new
as a lamb, helpless in the chicken wire of my sex.
I let every stranger in. Watch men change faces
with the run-down sun, count fires
in the loom-holes of their pickups, lines of rot,
studying their scarred window-plagues,
nightshade my own throat closed tight
against a hard hand. Then all comes mute
in my glittering eye. All is knocked back,
slick hem-suck of the dark surf, ceramic
tiles approaching, the blur of a beard.
The white tusk of his ocean goring me.
This world unforgiving in its boundaries.
The day’s owl and its omen
slipping a bright hook
into my cheek —