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Yes, Crosshatch, I Feel You.

— Hari Alluri

for KPU WSS

The oil tanker I stare at dilates my monotony.
City we came to, beneath your clang, your whisper
soft enough that the fires we brought might nuzzle
closer in to hear. Your steady footstep of
shipping containers. An uncertain mythology
whose living contents are each a sacrifice
imagining how to reach. How to pivot
between two gods—faded as the velocities
from quenching stars. Their nightly arrival,
with or without light. City, you lean into the mountains
like the boys my boys and I were
leaning against: a wall we cannot own. The wind
mouths whatever sentence is next in a horizon. This dock,
a skipping stone’s distance to the thing that reaches
every other side. And here, a turtle-faced cinderblock
might admonish: pour salt from your meridian and turn
this corner, you will find in the square
a piece of sea, an infinity of precipices. I use to scrub
a charter boat’s bannister free of Brass-O
over again, filling my pages with no promise
but labour. In every fingerprint I refuse to leave behind
on any bannister another must scrub, the grip
I fail to reach with, the whisper
in my hands. Like breath at the ridges of a corrugated mirror
offering no reflection. I pour my drink
to the loneliness of wells. The night is in you. You, who sunlight
yearns to touch—like any meadow, any flaunted lung.


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