Patmos I

Cape winds cup our faces and push
our coats off our shoulders
Black pebbles welcome us
like polished coal before their keep:
Waves unfolding ridge by ridge
before modulating to sky

We pull our coats against our chests
because vastness reminds us
of the absence that drew us here
We think the ocean is the field
where he lies buried under Kansas sun
where we repair to pick the wheat again and again,
skin breaking and tears too salty a balm for the broken soil
We step forward to go there
but water meets our toes to stop us

For the first time, we are not expected
to get around the thing before us
We stay looking on
like untethered fishing boats
held in the unrolling
ribbons of sunset


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