Head, Perhaps Of An Angel
limestone, with traces of polychromy, c. 1250
Point Dume was the point,
he said, but we never came close,
no matter how far we walked the shale
broken from California.
had slipped, hanging itself by a vine
from the cliffs of some new Babylon
Drowning the words,
the wind didn't fling back in our faces,
the Pacific washed up a shell:
around an alabastron
of salt water for the dead,
seaweed rustled its papers, drying them out,
until it died. Waves kept crashing
into the heart
of each shell
I held to my ear like a phone,
but they were just the waves of my blood.
And through it all
I heard him say,
how could it be nine months ago
his grandson had taken his own life,
somewhere back east?
He was fifteen.
O Pacific, what good is our grief?
Something screamed at the sandy child
who poured seawater
into a hole.
Child, you'll never empty the ocean,
Augustine said. How can I believe?
The wet fist of a wave
dissolved in sand.
Like a saint, a seagull flapped down the beach
in search of something raw—an angel
with an empty pail?
No, a teenage boy,
hands big as a man's, held a sea slug
quaking like an aspic. Under a rock, another
drew into its body
larger than itself. Live, said Death,
to child and childless alike, indifferently.
I am coming.
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Comments about this poem (Head, Perhaps Of An Angel by Debora Greger )
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
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