seizes my melancholy frame of mind,
bent on a refractory gaze
and lost in waves repeating their signature
on a dotted line of shore.
I am captive of the moon’s possessive marriage
with the tides.
A wave breaks,
rolls itself into defeat,
splinters my matrix of bone
and its attendant marrow of memory.
Beads of cut-glass sun
fold into the white, rounded realm of surf
and shatter my parallax view of life.
I am a whalebone soul
spewed from Ahab’s gullet,
obsession with mundane circumstance
broken into a thousand liberties
carved by the sailor’s slipknot heart
that fashions scrimshaw with dexterity.
A thousand bones
lie on the beach, all of them pale points
and lines, shaved into this idle art of the sea:
a pipe a horn, a whale,
figures molded into eternity.
I am broken by
but in the sea’s exaltation, free.
The scrimshaw is me.