In my house my father sleeps
in perfect darkness.
When I return to the guestless room
to write and raise the shades
his night-breath scallops the window pane,
a bridge stenciled out of mist. A wave.
Another daughter would clear the haze
with her sleeve, or scrawl a message.
Having not yet accepted the river’s
inexorable flow toward its emptying,
I drift offshore in a glass-hulled boat.
All morning, sealight grays our hair.
Nameless, god wakes early, gratuitous
knuckles inflating to batter every
shore’s soft belly to seaglass pulp. And still
you would leave me to seek the morning,
on your knees you would circumnavigate
god’s unbending will, and call it mercy.
But I have tasted ice in the hollow
of god’s clavicle, I have plumbed god’s skull
and found only the silence of the shark
quarrying the mineral broth for shoals
that keep careful distance between bodies,
though their lateral lines fizz with prescience.
Oh my love, night is inevitable
and holy in its darkness. Stay awhile,
my twilight. Let’s wreck ourselves, collide,
forget we’ve been taught to tread water. At dawn
let god’s jaws find us boneless and adrift.