Mark Doty

(10 August 1953 / Maryville, Tennessee)

Description Poem by Mark Doty


My salt marsh
-mine, I call it, because
these day-hammered fields

of dazzled horizontals
undulate, summers,
inside me and out-

how can I say what it is?
Sea lavender shivers
over the tidewater steel.

A million minnows ally
with their million shadows
(lucky we'll never need

to know whose is whose).
The bud of storm loosens:
watered paint poured

dark blue onto the edge
of the page. Haloed grasses,
gilt shadow-edged body of dune…

I could go on like this.
I love the language
of the day's ten thousand aspects,

the creases and flecks
in the map, these
brillant gouaches.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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