What She Said

Sand, stop crying. Bird,
seagrass, no more circling.
This wind means patterned sand,
sea lights: the net and reflection
of the wind’s prism
taking the water.
Breath, let go.
Salt water, salt bird, self
where there is some little wind,
don’t cry. The old woman to her dying son,
Son, go home.
Fierce grains, flight
and flight, this shiver.
Body as boat, as sail.
Running to tack; lean,
hike out on the one continuous
sea. Far and near—
that white out there is wind
rising. The weight of breath
is white. Stone is less stone
in waves. White again, another pattern
flying. Light as ash.
Go home.
—for Richard Selzer


Cleopatra Mathis
from her book The Center for Cold Weather
Sheep Meadow Press, 1989
reprinted with permission of the poet

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