The Visitor Came One Morning

in the fog
that hangs the morning
with wet bedsheets
stained and old
on a thousand lines strung
Over the harbor
flew eight gray gulls
hunting fish in the fog
Gray gulls
cursing the hour
in black
In black
she came
a queen carrying linen
From the door to the porch
she came
to leech my soul
She layered impasto pleasantries
sat with me and talked
For it was love
with seams sewn by a tailor
In several places the cloth
pierced with a single needle
thread broken once and knotted
But not much could be said
the porch too damp
to speak of
arrogant sunfish streaking seas
or brittle stars
that wave the moon around five shaky arms
And so
Oh no
I was brought home in a florist truck
She laughed not knowing
it was true
between yellow mums
and big very pink roses
for a funeral that was postponed
I was laid
where I could hear
begonias singing lullabies
As she sat
I got cramps from her onion soup
and the leeches failed her
when she had to leave
she left by the window
making heavy wrinkles in the shade
The fog lifts
off the cobblestones in the puddles
yet the wise leave gifts at my door

David Swoyer
Contents | Mudlark No. 1
A Portrait of Marriot Bradden | Beer as Religious Art