/ Word and Image


The expensive delicate ship must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky.
But what she saw with her sculptor’s visionary eye
Was a naked man, full grown, reaching for the sea—
The touch of it, as if it could be earth,
With all the earth’s hard reassuring gravity.
His single wing is woven like a net,
Strong to withstand the sudden rush of wind.
See how his body, braced against the fall,
Is muscle, sinew, tactile flesh.
See how his streamlined hair is wet,
As if he and the ocean have already met —
As if by some mysterious alchemy
He were already there, beneath the sea,
His stretched arm reaching for eternity.
And so this tragic waste, this accident,
Is somehow in the scheme of things well meant?

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