What I need is a simple algorithm
for hearing myself.
I must learn to talk
as the birds talk amongst themselves.
I sit beside you facing the sea.
Hold the shell. Press it to your ear.
Beyond, a field: dry
grass, the yellow suggests
green. Directionless action,
thought pouring out
from your body. Take the shell.
This is just sound. Just
memory — circled twice by cords,
your face contorted, your crying
for your children, the recognition
of another, finally,
after all this time, at once with
such force, silence
then the abrupt departure
of silence. Cloud-cover,
soaking rain. Soaking
wet. The sea washes,
then eddies, spray caught
in spray. Coming home,
I walk out back and
study the far side of my house.
The wall deflects light, and light springs
back from the wall in rhythm.
How can it be turned so much, mid-flight,
in the last glittering moment? Nothing
is a circuit in the way we try to believe —
as if the whole wheel turns at once.
What hunts us from the past
rises toward us, demanding
the thing bargained for. We cannot both
make it out. Sometimes, I wish it weren’t
me. I still remember your face. The wind taps
on my home. The rays dissolve
in my eye, dissolve in a flurry of
color, and everything is birds,
your pink mouth is just birds.