Tsunami Blamed On Five Women
The wicked earth—the whore—
she spread her legs beneath the sea's
sheets. The word our gaping sore
mouths form is fault. This morning she's
nowhere, the bed's made, tide's out.
We pace the ruined garden counting
Indonesians, Thais, and on and
on among the strewn and bitten fruit.
Old sea in her ancient alley
rolls and babbles through a dream.
Neighborhood makes rain from windows
motor oil, syringes, bags.
Passersby for centuries
cut through to rummage, piss and run.
One day the old crone, cranky, rose
and rose and from her whirling rags
the shadow spread for blocks and by
the morning half of Asia laid out
strangled in her silver locks.
If I could explain my wife—
her neck a mast of light,
her depth of thankless love,
her epileptic rage,
her womb of waning blood,
her singing in her sleep,
her falling and her rising,
her mercy and her milk—
if I could explain my wife
perhaps I could explain to her
the sea that took our daughter in its arms.
No one has gained an inch in teaching
manners to the kid. She itches
India at supper, chews
Sri Lanka in the chapel pews.
Cocked cap, weird music, faultlines in the knees–
she'll never learn responsibilities.
She made these cliffs. You should have seen
the hands at work, the sun and moon
keep spinning through her spectacles.
She slept a gritty wink, she groaned,
she ground another thousand years
to lovers' beds, to winds' gold robes.
She made because she was. She worked
because she was awake. She had no words—
not art, not earthquake, not mercy.