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Beach

Janis Rapoport
From:   After Paradise. Simon & Pierre, 1996


Time is unmade here at the border
of rock and sky. Under brindled water the hours
hide, fall away, disappear with the salt
until you are unknown, unthought, unformed.
There is only pale wind and pearl mist
that lights the granite and the slow green meadows
by the sea. What rite can re-form, re-make,
return you from water, from sand, from the low
dark leaves of a fruit bush pocked with rust?
We hear the echoes of sunbathers who last season
wore only shadows themselves yet laughed at a woman
who drove all the way out from town
to lie naked among strangers.
Unwanted kelp flowers on the cold stone shore.
Somewhere near: hosta, wild roses, morning glories
call out your name. In the perpetual sky
the sun and the moon are still. You don't answer,
you can't. Or else we can't hear you,
the unsinging, the unspeaking, the unliving.
We remain on the beach, ignoring the tide.
You're here, we understand that, and you're happy.
We're at a summer border of ourselves,
of each other, our small chiselled histories.
The moon is monitoring the water, listening
to its incoming waves, asking each white pulse
to unchart and undo our unknowing.


Janis Rapoport's works copyright © to the author.


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