After the boat (view from the shore)

By Ramon Loyola

Trammelled by felled trees on each side of the
shore, my limbs feel invisible and mangled,
after two months and a quarter of a night
at sea, with hands firmly shackled by breaths
on a bobby boat full of desiccated
skin and saltine hair, the lips chalked by the salt
of the sea, the eyes stung by murmurous
soot in the wind — I don’t know which peril is
more fatal: the carmine depths of the waters
outside Sadr or the denied embrace
(anticipant promises) in the reaches
of Darwin. It is pertinent. It is the
way of destiny. Not fate. Not fate.

Were there stories told of escapes from the
mouths of vagabonds, there would as well be tales
of sorrow in the choking limbs of sentinels
and wire. All I need is the embrace of
freedom, the insured lush of wind in my hair,
of sun in my eyes, the sun that blankets your
shores, the wind that blows through your valleys.
The land promises that; the man’s arms are folded
in perceived peril. Promises — they fall and
fail and falter in embraces denied,
never given, almost always foresworn.

Artwork by Kathryn Lamont.



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