Drinking on the Oregon Coast
The ocean is gray as I’ve ever seen it.
Black storm clouds—the weatherman said
lightning and thunder were possible
this late afternoon in Yachats, a rare event
here—have rendered the Pacific this bleak hue.
I’m reminded that a few weeks ago two fishermen
out for halibut from Depoe Bay disappeared in a storm,
their old boat all the Coast Guard found.
Now there are big white breakers heading continually
toward the shore, bright waves to mitigate the bland dark water.
I’ve been sipping Wild Turkey all afternoon, I’ll admit.
And now those breakers feel like human souls to me—rolling, spiraling
and speaking nautical words, words I never would have comprehended
had I not taken in the revelations from this bottle
I plan to keep working on until dusk is almost dawn.
explored my entire body,
for three years
surveying from scalp
No other lover
was such a topographer.
Only Anna comprehensively
mapped my geography.
She’s long dead,
her traversing fingers
and perusing palms
handed back to earth.
And my body is old
and different, a revised atlas,
When I want to see you naked,
I look at you in clothes.
When I want to hear your voice,
I listen to your silence.
When I want to touch you,
I take my fingers away.
When I want to taste you,
for instance, the skin around your nipples,
I demand my tongue dance,
like an airborne ballerina,
her toe circling two pink planets,
an agile satellite probing,
never landing, relishing wanted unknowns
I already know so well.