after Les Murray
I carry within the unmimicable dark.
Weeping open on the train one day
I learn no-one speaks to the sorrowful
except to say I’m sorry or I’ve been there
or to caw like some useless bird. No-one
has been to this place, my sweet black sea.
You may have your own, a waterless rock
or else some other reflection of world,
a bedroom, a garden of knowledge, a mouth.
No-one has been to my deep black sea
or knows the names of the unique fish,
crustaceans and algae that flourish there.
I visit its beach of glass every morning
afraid it will vanish without my care,
my soft light. When I’m there, I hold
the necklace of wounds my mother gifted
me, tiny tragedies, accidental histories,
each one a jewel, amethyst of fist, topaz
abortion, and oh the blood diamonds
of neglect. Every wound here is a window
back to life, little lungs pumping air
into this beautiful void. And it is beauty.
A dozen moons of pale pink and blue hang
in the sky, each one a halo on haunted water.
The truth is: I love this grief-wrought hole.
All that I have lost lives in it. Together
as never in life, we swim, we school, we
sink in moon and diamante sand. Bone
dry, I leave wet footprints wherever I go.
Back in the carriage, the necklace is heavy
as a solar system and absolutely ordinary.
Image: Vincent Chien / flickr
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