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Saturday, May 22, 2010


A ship in a bottle, a ship in a bulb.
My love the lighthouse-keeper sleeps
in a circular bed, his toes almost

touching his head, and I his wife
dance by the shore, a flag in each hand.
He watches me from inside the storm,

and knows the code. Red,
yellow, red: I found your toothbrush,
the swallows have fledged. The light

has a god’s all-powerful whimsy –
flashing, occulting, isophase –
and he’s the man will catch fish with a kite,

and knit me a chough’s red beak
on a jumper. Come the worst
of the swells, relief is impossible:

where is the light to warn the man
inside the light and under the sea’s
own tongue? When they saw

the Flannans lamp dark and no one
to greet them, the search party
knew the island unmanned,

its savage tideline notional
henceforth, up in the air.
I too am carried away,

who have gone nowhere.
But, o, he’s the man will come
back to me, winched over

the waves with his jigsaws done
to a total absence of potted meat,
to where no spray leeches into our bed.

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