islands 

islands long for respite of
empires unappeased until the sword
has drunk its fill of the heavens
the birthing breakers of contracting typhoons
toss skin into dervishes of chill prickled pimples
the valkyrie wind is a funeral both warm
and frigid it is the prayers of the children
low archipelago framed in mute silence
broke slowly by the walking pneumonia
rattle hid deep inside the aging
lit as a city night by the dead light
of a dome star
there on the expressionless face of the sea
are the women who are freezing who have
changed their minds on love
there are the men who have turned to loathing
their bodies shaking with cold as if with dropsy
death announces itself with a sounding of shofar
to the personal horror of the nursing mother
a landscape created from the bereft rotten shingles
of the roof of the world
here the mornings are recorded with cries of children
shaking the gums of the fathers
on every lonely island
on each beach facing east
was placed a table
of betrayal and forgiveness
of fellowship in death
there are islands on the face of the deep

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