Gyroscope Review 15-3 - Page 56

Currents by Beth Sherman Almost an island, I balanced on my boat’s sides Rapacious blond-eyed birds, their dung, their screams. I drifted on. Through fragile tangled lines Drowned men, still staring up, sank down to sleep. -- Rimbaud Almost a vision. But not really. The boat fills with water, muddy brown, speckled with algae and skeletons of forgotten starfish, a flounder who stares at me with flat black eyes The hook still fixed in his mouth, which opens and says: Bail This far out, birds follow in the boat’s wake, loons, terns, once a pelican. They must be tired from flying so far, all that soaring and skimming. I wait for them to settle on the sides of the dinghy, claws firmly gripping the weathered planks, wait for the water to reach my earlobes, for night to cover me like a soggy blanket. I expect song. The boat drifts on, spinning through currents. I lost the oars years ago. Incredible to realize you can subsist on a diet of sunshine and air. Salt clings to me like barnacles, crystalline white, hardening, solid, all that’s left except for my shell. A toast to disappearing! To Shakespeare and green olives! To the last bitter rays of light fading as briskly as love. Ophelia wore a crown of weeds drowning ‘neath the brook in her white virgin’s gown. Painterly . . . delicate. . . highly iconic. This disappearing act is far less poetic. My skin shriveled, my bones exposed, Gyroscope Review 4! 7