The tide’s a Bach cantata.
The beach is the swollen neck of Isaac.
The tide’s a lamentation of white opals.
The beach is free. The Coke machine rusted out.
Here is everything you’ll never need:
hemp-cords, curry-combs, jade and musk,
a porcelain cup blown into the desert—
stockings that walked to Syria in 1915.
On the rocks some ewes and rams
graze in the outer dark.
The manes of the shoreline undo your hair.
A sapphire ring is fingerless.
The weed and algae are floating like a bed,
and the bloodless gulls—
whose breaths would stink of all of us
if we could kiss them on the beaks—
are gnawing on the dead.
© Peter Balakian
Some other random works of this poet:
- Slum Drummers, Nairobi
- A Version of Paolo and Francesca
- Going to Zero
- Head of Anahit/British Museum
- Killary Harbor
- A Letter to Wallace Stevens
- Leaving Aleppo
- In Church
- Parable for Vanished Countries
- August Diary
- The Color of Pomegranates
- Reading Dickinson / Summer ‘68
- A Country House
- “My Mother is a Fish”
- World Trade Center / Mail Runner / 73
- After the Survivors Are Gone
- Wild Cherry
- Warhol/Mao, ’72
- The Oriental Rug
- Name and Place
- Here and Now
- Fish Mouth
- Flat Sky of Summer
- Ozone Journal
- Ode to the Duduk
- A Toast
- Warhol / Madison Ave. / 9-11
- Baseball Days, ’61
- Domestic Lament