Like Ships

the night she arrived,
the wintered door suffered open on a shove and a gust
and her mother came trundling through with the flakes.
the room warmed and all of us huddled toward them
smiling and newly forgetful of our troubles.
we all noticed the question wrinkling her little face,
she saw all of us
and thought we looked too new,
that there should be others
more weathered than us
more nights tallied in the saddle than we had
she came from out there expecting grandpa not knowing
they'd just missed each other


press the light in my hand so it blisters
and put your foot to pebble path till you've done run
the chipped concrete walk through wind-stripped cinder walls
to the beach,
where sit a bruised blue sky and whale bones the sea leaves us

descend to the roaring coast twilight,
attend the riot beach fires whose bellies
bloat of old palms bleached by mariner's drift and
pull me into the bodied circles you make when you
stand above the tideline and drag eye for torches
hung long ago at the end of the sea