Prayer to the Sea


The sea dissolves the bile of battle,
the effluent flow of human soil:
from every starving village on the mountain,
crying in her weaving for her lovers,
sons, and fathers, burying tears
in steep, blood-salted ground;
through every teaming valley, writhing
in fits of angry knowledge,
tearing at itself, clan on clan,
blood to blood, manhood to nationhood,
to genocide,
until a billion strangers’ bones
commingle, their essence
ever added to the stream;
to the sump of the cities, seething,
peristaltic, birthing temples ecstatic,
eroded by grief and drowned
at the hands of their own
impatient progeny, sickened
on the distillates of war—
from all these yearning orbs of birth
and death, into the sea
and absolution.

O, dolphin, sweet endorphin,
orphan soul,
enfold us as the fray is joined,
and bear us to the surface of this night.