“Watermark” by Susan Levin

Susan Levin


Weave the tears
gathered at the loom,
gathered at the boxcars
from chambers to bombings
down the Rhone.

The lighthouse
of a child’s eye
will not reflect on a bruised cheek.
On and on remorseful,
water and salt from the lighthouse deep.

The deep that overlooks
the neck, the breast,
the biceps of hope.
A young son swept away.

Only a river of drowned men
can know the sadness
of this piercing.
Deaf mutes stretch into years,
he hears prickled skin and wind.

Full mouth of water.
Full eyes of water.
Full ears of water.
Swollen lungs forget
and fail in a green river.

Gone, says the brookweed.
Gone, says the hemlock.
Gone, says the empty-handed boat.

from Rattle #1, 1995

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