Spastic At The Beach
Twisted body silhouetted
in a flood of summer light
he seems incongruous down here.
She leads him to the water’s edge
(sister, nurse or doubtless both):
he lurches under her loving grip.
Against the emerald waves his skin
the white that white can be. He tilts
his head to listen, he tenses as
his paper–thin monastic feet
touch the wet sand. The water sprays
his ankles then the surf engulfs
his legs. The sun beats like a jugular,
the heat of day descends. He cries
a primal howl of fear and joy,
he bellows like some dinosaur a long
foghorn of linkage, disbelief.
Escapes her grip, allows himself
to fall. The small waves throw
his body like a doll. He gasps
and screams again, and those immense
gut vowels reverberate,
cut through the noise of day,
resound along the beach. She takes
his wrist. He balances and sways,
a trail of saliva like a mad silver
pendulum flailing from the pivot
of his mouth. He howls again.
The moon would burst. He is
howling for a cup full of moon
and her love is the moon for his cup.
He turns to her uncertainly, he turns
away and shudders as he laughs.
He cannot stay still and the earth
moves too. His splayed fingers
stab at the air, at the sun,
the ocean continues to throb.
He has dented the day
with the hammer of body and voice.
She leads him away where the salt haze
enfolds them in fading, his frail figure
dims in the warp and mirage of the spray.
All is pulse. In the pulsing of blood
and of light he will stay, the immaculate
hammer of presence embedded in day.
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
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