Monody For Crane
Your body pitched, hyperbola of noon,
arcing declination over the gunnel
and into that tangled sea, a skein of trouble
you’d always known so well.  And as you fell,
 
were you thinking of those native men,
those regnant boys, those unvoiced naked slaves 
who ran into the body-bruising waves
to greet conquistadors agog with lust
 
for this new land, this never-home you left
unwon?  Yours was the world of expatriates:
terrible siroccos, insistent breakers,
fell cities with nothing underneath the bridges —
 
only water, only ever water
and the body’s obdurate throb of recollection:
the voyaging hull foam-licked, the purser’s lips — 
what strange unrest, redundancies of flesh....
 
You had met the bottom of the world,
and it was cruel, possessive, calling you
to that obscurest ocean, where everything
is welcomed, wanted, and nothing is explained.
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