Strolling along the creases in your hand,
listening to lovers practising their lines,
I lost you somehow where the paths divided;
when I asked for you, the lovers told me lies.
The map you left me showed a sunken city
and marked the street where we should meet again.
I took the path that led across the mountain
and down where the salt wind cuffs the whitefaced cliff.
Flowers at the edge, and miles below the ocean
crawls blinding bright like molten stone in motion.
And on that flood a black ship carves a question,
and on its deck the dancers point and stare.
The pennants flutter and a painted woman
casts from the prow with live bait in her hair.
There is an order to the movement of the waters
that’s lost and found and lost again and found.
It’s growing dark. The deck’s alive with fishes.
The band is playing blues as the boat goes down.
The woman laughs and lifts her open hand
and tattooed on it, rising, is the moon.