I See the Sea...

I see the sea shrink
then shrink again
until it fits in the palm of my hand.

And I
hear the sound of flying fish,
the dead sailors' cough, the burning whales,
the shivering mermaids, the horses and the wind,
the sea's white curls,
and the drowned strangers who have forgotten their human voice.

I see
the sea
then shrink even more
the oars' hopeless beats,
the foam-circled boats,
the frozen shadows,
the salt-encrusted stores,
the disheveled hopeless left on the shore....
Oh what strange mystery,
the sea!

I see your purple fingers
in the beakers of the dead,
and the shoulders of the wind
drenched with your mouth's sweat,
and I see your bitter joy.

I see
the sea
then shrink again,
and I
float farther
from the invisible shore.

To where is this familiar boat,
whose oars' solemn sound mingles
with the rain, carrying us?