The Volcano

in Verse

Every night, boats glide out from behind
The island to keep an eye on the volcano
And draw its luster out, through red eruptions,
into the sailors’ eyes, and into the water
which holds itself against the boat,
against the island, and cools the stones
intolerable to the skin.

Lapilli falling steadily from far away
Slowly rake the night-slide of ash
to water. The water keeps time, as
Tuna are trawled in in a net between two boats.
Arm after arm, fishermen bring them to a calm place.

On the rocks that slip below and rise out again,
Mother walks to meet the waves
And the waves meet her with a splash and spill.
Is it enough, to fill a black volcanic basin?

The sand slopes so sharply that if she looks down
She sees depth and no floor; and far off,
the islands that draw the wind over themselves
and cast it back to sea.

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