“Smiling Among Inert Shipwrecks,” by Eric Robert Nolan

“Smiling Among Inert Shipwrecks”
by Eric Robert Nolan

               [For Robert and Kathleen Nolan]

Oh, to extinguish the seas,
and make the waves recede.
The nights between you both and me
are oceans that separate.

To meet at a nadir
between continents,
to traverse
dryness in endless leagues,
to descend
the fathoms now made shining canyons,
where all the former depths are rendered
newly whitening plains,
I would find you
smiling among inert shipwrecks.

All their rusting hulls would be
as iron strange oases,
now in an ironic desert —
the seabed under midday.
A warm new noon alights their wakes.
Intermittent citadels
of masts again in sun
would brightly tower over
their resurrected figureheads;
their mermaids’ opaque eyes would find
we three gladdened
among the once benighted bows.

There’d be an incongruity
between crustaceans now
slowed almost to stillness
in the blanching sun, while we …
we rushed to an embrace.
Our shouts would break
the silence of epochs.

Somewhere on a shore, this night,
beached upon an altar
of lunar-like nocturnal sands,

finally, face to face,
dessicated starfish
stare at their namesakes in heaven.

(c) Eric Robert Nolan 2016

 

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