November 18, 2011

"First Light (for Shara McCallum)"

First Light
 (for Shara McCallum)

Dawta, the blood that spilled bright
on blades of sawgrass, a scent like rust

rising in your nostrils, twisted
into your terrible locks. I wish I could

have turned your head away, for you not
to have witnessed the slow slump of the body

on the earth that greeted the thud
of the shell when the soul becomes one

with the light around the tamarinds.
But like thunder on the surf whose rage

shatters sand dollars that crumble
in our hands, you can no longer take refuge

in the mangroves' memory of wholeness,
your flight into an orphaned sun.

© Geoffrey Philp 2011

Shara McCallum will read at the Miami Book Fair International on Saturday, November 19, 2011

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