The Gamekeeper’s Lament
God’s invasion has begun:
out in the sound, all manner
of birds tear south in swathes.
Above rough surf, a squad
of pelicans cruises shadowlike,
brant, in a line, swing inland
toward shallow marsh scruff.
A rabbit tilts his thin ears
like radar against the summer
and the moonlight. My faith
exists just above a wisp
and my body even closer—
a drawn out lingering
of warmth before a storm,
a silence at the center where 
a kernel of sand begins.
The inked ghosts of poachers
troll the inlets awake:
an explosive thrum of fowl—
all spirits, angels, and dead
from what must feel like
a million winters against
the grave. We’re all awake
in ways unknown, our eyes
(goose, outlaw, rabbit) all
rising blue and gray from old
sandbars and damned islands.
The hesitant squeak of an oar,
the stuttering hisses of torn
kite wings caught by a fence:
every last thing is an omen
overwhelming my spectral
breath, the raw concentrics
my listening unencumbers.
In one bolt, my blind eye
and my good eye (my bad,
as I’d say in mixed company)
become not ghost-flesh,
but quite suddenly present
and rotting. Even the sweet
nub of cigar I’d been nursing
when I keeled in the boat’s
muddy bottom as my body
drove my skull into the steel
of the boat’s lip—it reddens,
burns into currents. The bruises
ring back (a sunrise behind me
to match) and the feeling
in my feet creeps forward
until surely I am walking,
dripping from inside the sound
to see the dunes like wings
buckling in the wet heat.
God, this has all come on
so soon—one sin from hell,
one deed from heaven: the path
I’ve seen only yards of sinks 
away into western darkness
and never doubles back. 
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