Why do I refine myself?
It is discipline, grace I need
from language as quickly bent,
rusted with corrosive saliva
in another mouth, disintegrated
in some other thought.
It is a work of hands too.
I whittle a desperate notion
as the salty sailor becomes
delicate, patiently carves
his intricate scrimshaw
in thunderstorms and sunrise.
A turning of days alive on a horizon.
No land in sight. Earth, a comfort
my body longs to press, comes
only as an idea. Home. A nebulous
fiction behind the eyes.
Maybe I search for You.
Evidence. A generation of elegance
so I dress and decorate, impose
a wayward resonance
on some ragged minstrel’s bones.
When tomorrow might crumble
in a landslide of coquina sands
and the ocean drain
to a sultan’s sewage,
I seek a Promethean light.
Sift the ragpicker’s wares, find
truth in meticulous inscription,
the courage of sculpted ivory,
redemption when the troubadour’s song
is devoured for eternity.