Brought to Water
Of the half-sunken barge where life
has taken root, I know the moral: where waste
something can be profited, that for nature
there is no waste. Only opportunity. That’s the charge
granted us, early in the garden, before
we ducked behind the elephant ear to hide our nakedness.
The first charge, at least. And a second:
that we’d never forget. I know that all I realize is
derivative of a love. That everything I possibly know
won’t eliminate what I don’t: Why parade
this gross beauty in our faces? Why make livable
the bones of the men who must have embraced
the night the barge slipped under? Forgive me, Father.
You made me human. That means I have an ego.
That means I can’t find solace in this tree
that now commands this ship, its branches stretched
and twisted as your love, although they also,
like the bones, make me choke.