poem #39

Composed decomposed
At the Point, the fog horns bellow
in shades of gray so desperate
I can feel the rock shore tremble
with pity. The upthrust of schist
and pale weathered gneiss challenges
my shaky old legs, but I step
from ledge to ledge by faking
grace I’ve never received. Farewell
to the island view, the sailboats
that might be tacking out there.
Farewell to ghostly kayakers
slipping too close to the breaking surf.
The fog renders distance useless,
folds the shore and surf together.
One misstep and I’ll break something
and flop like seafood while the gulls
peck out my liver and share it.
At low points, tide pools whisper
about crabs and barnacles and weed.
I try not to listen, but musings
in low tones the ear can’t define
always distract me. By noon
this fluff will whisk itself away,
leaving a sheen on dimensions
too delicate or stubborn to hide,
but for now the imposture’s complete.
No wonder I’m a little dizzy:
I forgot my dawn medication,
that creepy little pill that sears
the throat and settles like ballast.
In this density I’d forget
my name if it didn’t adhere
in five syllables to my pulse.                     
Three terns pose against the gloom.
I’d snap a prize-winning photo
if the effort wouldn’t topple me
into the foam. Better sit down
on a dry slab and recover
what remains of my senses.
I’ll convince myself a horizon
still lurks out there to help me
distinguish upright from prone.
– William Doreski
William Doreski’s work has appeared in various electronic and print journals as well as in several collections, most recently The Suburbs of Atlantis (AA Press, 2013). 
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