THE RELEVANCE OF THE SHORELINE

[from Jorie Graham “The creeping relevance of the shoreline” in New World]

 

The relevance of the shoreline brings its own edge

I remember this is where you come to fill up again

ocean sounds in the act of replenishing going coming

lines of retreat and advance all in one underfoot

better yet laid down length of spine and best give in

give up give yourself back to whatʻs been emptied out

spilled into the world since you first emerged it’s

a simple act like a cup overflowing at the lip while

above all this the moon’s tug of war with your own

blood stops up all speech though not everyone agrees

sometimes I stand at the edge of the known world

amidst the wreckage of getting and spending ground

down as if it were sand when we say gathering place

this is what we mean it’s what we get leftover

bento containers among the detritus I want to believe

we’ll snap out of it make things good but I feel

outnumbered by ourselves a sense of the sacred

eroded washed up I say less and less anymore

like an old hermit monk poet keep myself to

myself scratch a few words on the walls

of the cave smile when mountains disappear

behind clouds remember the shoreline

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