Westwind

Gabriel Malikian: Two Poems

 

 Tether and Tryst

Peeled – fingers, spilling,

drenched in swift motion.

 

The varnish lick of

a bruise – a bite mark

 

tattoo. Lifting

 

from her crevice: clear

light. Rapt, I find you,

 

fervent, unfurling,

reaching my shadow.

 

You – sentry – clenching

your pilum, hold me

 

in and ask: will we

end like this? With my

 

informed leaking? Loss

of feeling flesh, ease…

 

Evaporating,

her ocean closes.

 

 

Ponta da Piedade

Neither beacon nor torch

tonight. A hushed ocean

 

slaps the hull of a tin dinghy

anchored in the surf.

 

A man swims, bearing his body

toward marble arches. He’s been

 

here before – even let himself

bob on his back, staring at the apex

 

where the marble thins. A wife

watches from the littoral as this man

 

pushes ounces of ocean away, inching

against what is incoming. Inundated

 

with waves, he is rooted to water.

Alarmed, she watches his limbs

 

lengthen. The marble thins some.

The wife sees how reaching has

 

no motion. How a husband doesn’t

float and foul, but dissolve. Beached,

 

she refuses to move.

Gabriel Malikian

 

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