Lightly a God, If He Wished

The voyage—your word, not mine—is over
………….and the homecoming you had,
especially after the less than stunning
………….victories, long anticipated
turns out to be more of a lull—the water
………….ceasing its shifting, the ship following suit
—than a respite… you turn up bruised
………….and unsteady and, with no more strangers
to fuck, steal long glances at the horizon
………….you rode in on, windless now and pale
… and the son you’d hoped would
………….by now be walking the shore the way you,
however many years ago, did—taller, though,
………….a stride compelled more by an Olympic
rhythm than by the wreckage-dragging you have
………….come to understand as piety—reminds you
of a crocus forced too soon open… and so, you
………….are probably the one whose
cycle—the setting forth into, among other places,
………….the whale’s belly—ends in a less than tragic
return. Tragedy, of course, referring almost exclusively
………….to death and not the typhoonish questions
that, for those having escaped death, conduct
………….the puppetry of an attempted night’s sleep…
The dreams, though, you might come to enjoy:
………….how, like the sea, they beat hard against
you and, even harder, how you beat back.

D. S. Waldman

D. S. Waldman is a Marsh-Rebelo scholar at San Diego State University. His work has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Poetry Northwest, Gettysburg Review, Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, Missouri Review, Southern Humanities Review, and Cherry Tree. He’s received fellowships, support and awards from Middlebury College, Kenyon Review summer workshops, San Diego State University, and Georgia Review. www.dswaldman.com

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Author: D. S. Waldman

D. S. Waldman is a Marsh-Rebelo scholar at San Diego State University. His work has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Poetry Northwest, Gettysburg Review, Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, Missouri Review, Southern Humanities Review, and Cherry Tree. He’s received fellowships, support and awards from Middlebury College, Kenyon Review summer workshops, San Diego State University, and Georgia Review. www.dswaldman.com