The sea gives up its purple breath
and presses mist against the window,
offering the ease of rest,
the blank descent into tomorrow.
We knot and bruise the silken sheet,
tossed like tempest-ridden birds,
then sigh and tumble into sleep
still clinging to the planks of words
that in the day define our ships,
vessels talked in dizzy loops.
We are not captains, only terns
that ride the spars of empty sloops.
Soon, weary hands release their hold,
letting go the listing wrecks –
like dark anemones unfold.
We abandon night-swept decks
to sink into the boundless deep
like ghosts or lazy, placid hulls,
and for a space escape the race,
the fractious flight of storm-wrought gulls.
e. yon/2002 (from Fruit & Bones)