Before My Father Dreaming
The cabin with its lights ablaze:
crooked pieces of driftwood
on the pine table, a vase
of purple and white lupine,
a glass of whiskey glowing
with the crackling birch fire.
Night rises with frog songs,
the bellowing lighthouse,
the ringing of the distant
channel markers on the edge
of this small island
just before sleep.
There are no boundaries
save the lines on maps.
There is no time
save the eye of memory.
Air liquid as the sea,
floating in that sea without a single stroke,
looking into a mirror without a face,
I am the night and I am the sea.
Blue, black, an inky drawn moon a fingertip away.
Let the cabin break from its pylons and drift
towards the shadows of midnight, as if,
in the ancient days, the whale-road might end
and slowly the earth allows us to fall over the edge
without fear, suffering, not a single good bye.
Terra del Fuego disappears.
To circle back, contrary to latitude or longitude,
enter the front door, enter unexpected,
feel once again an open palm
touch the back of your head.
Like a father standing in candlelight,
like a father walking in a cane field
machete glinting in lamp light,
like a father rowing a red boat
in the phosphorescent waters
near the shore of Arroyo,
like a father in a hospital room
holding you in his strong brown hands,
or is it you, as you drift into sleep,
holding his hand, his head lying
against a soft blue pillow, your father
approaching the last night
he will ever dream your face.
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