Wake

By Chad Davidson

Casamicciola, Ischia

Look past the ships at port, past Mary
on her gull’s perch at harbor’s heart.
Look past the ribs of sailboats docked
and locked till August. Past the past itself,
which idles like a trawler always almost
ready to reveal its haul. Look past it all,
the bars on wobbly pilings, portly bathers
slick in oil, Mondrian of beach chairs lined
or stacked or laid out flat in fearful symmetry.
The man with the rake. The fussed-over sand.
Look past, I want to say, but, then: what, then?
Just a blue that gathers at its seams the wakes
of hydrofoils, erasing even them. Erasure
as a dangerous science, banned religion.
Heresies: they come in all the azures, lapis
lazuli, and midnights we can think of.
This one here is nothing special, other than.
Nothing meaning something far beyond
some fluke of chemical alliance, some fish
and salt. Besides, the haze is clearing.
Atop the flanks of Vesuvius now, its jagged
rim discernible but just, another opportunity
blown. We are made of such intense regrets.
No taking that back, that or the trawler’s catch.
I see them now unloading all the spoils, curious
word we use both for the bounty and the waste.