November 2, 2023

remembering calypso

once upon a time across the sands—
it’s like a window.
a long boat, leaving. the way it pulls.

yes. supple and wide. muscular and still.
—she’s sleeping. the dawn-light’s coming.

it’s near and warm. yet something’s underneath…
she’s breathing slow.
look how full she lies. and yet—

the wind!
—yes, calling her to move, begging
‘Wake Please!’ —and look how she abides

from crest to slip to swell, again, again. I think she loves the light,
the air’s insistent hands—
the wind is everywhere she goes.

the voice inside her.
          —and so, my dear, what of this ‘long boat, leaving?’

we’re facing west, and into. the waves are high.
but see how much there is?

it feels an edge.
—yes. and we gaze down, upon, from high beyond.
it’s a leap, a flight! —but look how we cannot,

how—we are rooted in this frame, leaning out, but bound—
No! —look at how she sees: that sweet, sweet glance, the dark

lingering, that heat, ‘how much there is!’
look—she’s lifting, turning, her voice clear—and we—look!

now slipping, about to slip—

This is an ekphrastic poem based on a photograph of the Great Sand Dunes at dawn by Taos photographer, Elizabeth Burns.

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