After the lighthouse on San Juan Island.
Around his steeple, a neckerchief
embroidered with the lie his father gave.
So, around the point, the strong gulls live,
songs like raking nails to the ear.
Dry myrtle, in the hand, spittle
aside the mouth, we forge course
through the arching buttresses of stars.
He knows the hammer. He knows the bouts.
What swings lays waste to things unmoving.
I reject his common beliefs, his white napkin
that dabs away the gore of his stinging words.
Daytime the chronometer, daytime the stick
measuring the waves at Lime Kiln.
My hands cross the hours. My hands
silt smeared and boney old. He harbors
his clean justice, his pure head
in the flailing wings of birds thriving.
I see the dead ones, on the stones.
Full of ivory threads and matted plumes.
First published in Synchronized Chaos in the June 2022 issue. This is this poem’s first time appearing on this blog or anywhere else.