The Ocean

At night I watch the foaming crests of waves
Make darkness visible again, falling
One over another like feathered wings
Along the shore, as if to say, yes, they
Were here a million years ago, and they
Will come again. Their story has no end.

When he fell headlong from the firmament,
Was it a watery grave that swallowed up
The rebel angel, life and soul entire?
Did mercy scream for him a hollow roar
So vast it filled the ocean deep with tears
Of unrepentant joy, his company
The dream of lonely sharks and restless whales?
Was Pandemonium a kingdom grown
Of coral reef and slippery eels and fish
That swam by light of phosphorescent horns?
What if there were no chains, no pit, no gates
Of Hell to overlook the yawning void —
Perhaps the sea was that and Chaos too,
The weight of miles and miles to hold him down.

They say an ocean separates us from
The dead. They say to reach the afterlife
We cross a river, one that circles round
The world, and on the other side there lies
A foreign land, the purpose of our quests,
The Avalon to quench our thirsty kings.
What holds us back? What chasm weighs us down?
And will we find the answers painted on
The sea, in light reflected by the moon,
Whose children ride beneath its foaming waves?



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