George David Clark



The dark sea dreams them.
They are the inexchangeable
currency of dreams,

the interest the other world
pays and pays into this one.
In the blueing pre-dawn

they seem hewn out
from the littoral like great,
waterlogged diamonds,

an interior gleam.
Who speaks for them
speaks for the secret

side of the womb
for they are the long-tasseled
death-bonnets of children

we conceive but never
bring to term. And so we love
and jointly curse them.

It is impossible
to tell if they reach for us
or we for them,

so strange is their delicate
gravity. They are sisters
to the moon then, and pulse

in her wake, a curdled
blooming of echoes
as she too is an echo.

But in the fluorescent pink
and green pockets
of their bodies, softer

than night, they’re smuggling
rumors of those suns we fail
to imagine. They hold whole

oceans beneath their umbrellas.
Tell me, friend, is there an end
to revelation? The poison

flowers blossom inside me
like colored Rorschachs
I might come to believe in.

Evening and thunderheads
in the austral sky, the jellyfish
tides, an exhibition

of lightnings. Scaled-down
Hiroshimas of the deep,
they flare in the mind,

their cold medusa-bells
resounding, calling us back
to the black sands of sleep.

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