The great translator thought
he had suffered the sleep of a cloudless day
in a boat of skins
on a cold and black inland sea.
Elohim, the eye of minor periphery,
broke bread with him on the moonlit water.
He washed his beard and hair
and said your daughters are now stepping from
But if we wake
by their drying looms
with a mountain of salt between me and them,
then the diarist wife
has taken these margins of yellowing shoreline
London sleeps with its cousins and sisters all
while naked surgeons cross through the city
bearing torches . . .
this is the cult of worms
who by physical inches of devotion are measuring a
The owls forming a morbidly obese quotation
The Word is always out weeping in the evening
refusing the hot custards, stealing
from sick and defenseless travelers.
The last Republic is out too, burning on the horizon.
Phoenician men sitting on the purple rocks
mending their nets, chewing
on roots, laugh
and then walk out across the water.
They've been doing it for centuries,
their nets with laughter.