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for stanley as you can see
lacking memory
one must go to the sea

see the pretty maypoles hand in hand
with crabs and courtesyies and anemones
where god and the lanternfish stand

you are now one of many a stick
tossed, then
filtered like krill,
afloat on the current
you float estuary-bound
to slip silent into the sound
to the big big sea

( children live in houseboats under the spanish moss
grandchildren sprung from the mouths of mountains )

But the sea is not to be.

For you are distilling at a shallow estuary
where the tide leaves you face-up to the sun
where one evaporates and seeds clouds
that deign, in the main,
one day,
to rain

upon one’s children’s children
to become rivers through their hair
and down their sweet cheeks

for whale-filtered children like krill
bang
in a vacuum of sound
in a purge of parents,
in a desert of siblings

children know too soon the taste of bereave
that you, well, you take your leave
they are shown how childhood is broken,
is cracked open for the magic to leak,
that the lanternfish has spoken.

and there will be a time of waiting under the scaring seas
as they float from mountain to
houseboat to
estuary to
bottom to
you at maypoles to
dance with crabs
and you, stanley.

and you Stanley,
stand on the shore
watching mind and memory and one’s place in one’s family
seek the big big sea.

say something nice ... or not

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