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To Live in the Hair of Sargasso Sea

J. P. Dancing Bear

             after Jacek Yerka’s “The Sargass Sea Bishop”

You make use of the things stuck with you

—a pearl of wisdom you cannot remember from where—

a faded relative from dry land

or impossible fable of an action figure.

You’ve made a lifetime of scraps

into a comfortable living space.

Ship planks you’ve always imagined

were once a Spanish gallon

framing the deep green twilit

mist. If not for the broken clock

and a pointless sundial

you would not recall the notion of time.

An old captain’s spy glass

reveals no ships off the port or bow.

New rips in the sail with it’s clear emblem

of futility. Another black fin

slices a narrow path through hair

you will neither steer to nor follow.

Approaching night and already the stars

call out to one another

like an oncoming downpour of toads.

The kettles and teapots are low of rain;

you have a vague notion of some song once chanted

that would split the sky into a downpour—

some other religion than your own.

Lightning flashing over the boiling triangled sea,

but it is as half-hearted as a torn map.

You might need to lie down for a spell

to work out what is needed

and what is written in the key of desire.

Another slow wave rolls under

and a lullaby voice is born.

Sleep comes with a green blanket of comfort:

everything has been provided for

by this god of static seas.

J. P. Dancing Bear

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