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CLOSE / Parnassiad

Peace and Other Stories

Fragments of a Formerly Active Sex Life

by Julian X  /  poetry  /  1 Jan 2008

The ocean’s peace, bigger than you,
all directions forever, undefeatable
that you surrender in its presence
all your vaunted, tightly-held ambitions.

Underwater, the fish scatter around you
like living snowflakes
swirling in some unseen winds.

Only in the face of such dwarfing nature
can you go to your death as a turtle,
no time for hate amid the blue and white
and all wants feel like idle whims.

We had dolphins once who played,
talked to us in reassuring clicks, streaming,
flipped their big brains to inflatable balls
and in some other world to calculus,
and instantly you know, like children,
that you should do anything to save them.

The little café, rickety old boards
stretched along the water, blending into the sea,
and you sip mineral water, content until you’re not
and leave, because some ancestor took to land,
and if all these bottles and boards blew away,
you and all your species into the sea,
the ocean would still be there, undefeatable
under a dying red sun, alien in reflection.

Shrimping boats and whaling ships.
The blue horizon curves so clearly out here.
She’s a mermaid, curled up on your fat chair.
Your kids are baby muskrats,
your duty exactly that of a muskrat dad,
no less but certainly no more, it is.

I love my favorite foods and places
exactly as my dog does his,
an animal’s caprice, cute, no more, it is.

The blue’s all black at this depth.
There’s no up or down but buoyancy.
An endless, starless night
in which to die in, and it is.

The whales say nothing during sex, nor write,
yet surface on moonlit seas,
fighting against the black, and yet are wonders.

He swims out to the coconut
dancing back and forth in swaying place,
hauls it in to shore, cuts it open, and drinks,
his fingers salty from the sea.

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