Dan Sargent






How the truth is a paper mache house.
How with enough water, we make
What we want to see.

Merman and Merwoman
Hack their way into the wreck
And watch the bodies wilt away.

The pitted powdery oars
Are broken arms of stillness
Hanged from gunwales.

When it’s over, they’ll tunnel deeper.
So far in, black as an Arctic negative,
Even memory forgets.

Turning, then turned,
They’re no longer two—
One fin, one blade knifes the will
Forward, into a new, older place—
What the wreck keeps hidden.

Here, the water is hot as creation.
The light on their face is from the birth of stone.

And this is where he stops.
And this is where she decides how far to go.
There are no books, no maps, no myths.

Names only waste what breath is left.
He knows that to speak is to risk your life.
She can feel the water like flame, ready to leap down
Any opened mouth, and sear it dry.

Copyright © 2004 Dan Sargent.  All Rights Reserved.

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