Michelle Gould





As I speak, a wave drenches my face. ----Ovid


I am a current I cannot call home.
I am the blackest churning of tide
against left-handed shore,

a reef into which the lost fish bump,
an unfathomable city of the deeps.
I would call out your name,

but how could you hear me
over the rush of water breaking
against those who swim near me,

drowning my voice with the splash
and kick of their loud dying?
I am here, I am here, my tongue lost

amid the waves' black wagging.
Death flows into my open mouth,
turning me to sea when I would be river:

I who lie here,
poet of tender passions,
fell victim to my own sharp wit.

Passerby, if you've ever been in love,
don't grudge me the traditional prayer:
May these bones lie soft.