Sunday, September 09, 2012

Draft Poem "Marine Biology" UPDATED

Marine Biology
"When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over.”    --Thich Nhat Hanh

Being Marines
is what you had
in common--that and
big beards, big egos,
hurt hearts and rage.

And need. The kind
that reaches for anyone
obedient, soft, self-destructive,
the kind of woman who believes
"she deserves it," probably
because she is woman, humble,
someone once asked by a friend,
"Why are you so obsequious?"

I didn't know what the word meant,
but I thought I liked the sound.
I looked it up, frowned, argued
with us both, "That isn't me."

Later, I used the word in a poem,
"Swimming Out to the Island."
A teacher told me it didn't fit--
a shoreline is not "obsequious."

I countered that sand gave way to footprints,
footprints were erased by waves,
shells, stones and beach
dragged abysmally by pitiless sea.
She didn't agree.

But I kept the description anyway,
held tightly to my word,
preserved it with the others,

those that meant violence and violation,
manipulation, storm and denial,
some more I'd almost forgotten.

I collected each specimen as evidence,
studied them like a science,
arranged them as something sensible,
waiting for someone wise
to read the story with me.
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