December 5, 2020

Peter Makuck

FOR THE WOMAN AT THE PIER WHO ASKED WHAT IT WAS LIKE DOWN THERE

Like easing out of the body
into sleep or love, no need for words
to rise toward the quicksilver surface,
rising on a waver of light from the Atlas, a tanker
eighty feet down

Like the difference between light
and the weight you feel
when you first hit the deck shedding water,
mask, fins, belt, and tank,
almost light again

Like drifting off, our moonlit wetsuits
swimming in place on the cord between porch posts,
lighter still in the onshore breeze, drying,
becoming lighter,
loose-limbed and hovering
behind dunes swaying with sea oats …

Then ghosting again
among queen angels and blue parrots
chromis and clouds of spot-tail pins gliding
by encrusted rails       horned cleats and sea doors
at ease among anemones
on the tanker wreck       this great garden of rust

from Rattle #17, Summer 2002

__________

Peter Makuck: “I live on one of North Carolina’s barrier islands. Though I could do without the hurricanes, I love the ocean in all its moods. Reading and writing fill a large part of my days, but so do boats, scuba diving, and off-shore fishing in the Gulf Stream. Writing has always been for me a way of taking my waking slow, a way of being attentive to large and small daily wonders which might otherwise pass unnoticed.” (web)

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