2/17/2005




Limn

Night cups us like a match in dusky hands,
its skin reeking of kelp and fish.

The sea we sliced this morning

as if the skiff was diamond,

lies calm and whole,

a flat black stone, again.


With no stars to compass by, we know

this is not home

but a border crossed, uncharted

territory, maps here dreamed

from memory, moving over

hummock, salt, and ice.


Ahead of us, the icy slosh, its salt and

its indifference honeycombing

bones, hungry seagulls diving

at its nickel mirror. Tide, out

now. Only a thin and deeper

gray delimits water from the sky.


At our backs, a sprawling bog of solitude

and beyond that ladders

of cold and slippery light.

Browsing in blackberries,

the bear lifts up its crimson mouth

and all ways look the same.

--Susan Elbe

From Light Made from Nothing (Parallel Press, 2003)