Ed Roberson

VI. Cape Journal: At Sand Pile

 

 

I

 

      it matters less

than as long as

      their shapes last

 

      that you call this

a cloud   that a whitecap;

      and less

 

      than either, this

answering   a name

      yours  mine or

 

      the how many names

of snow: flat, shifty, six-faced

      cold

                                 families  of New Jersey

 

 

 

2

 

I felt,

      for less than a wave

         washing over, why

the hermit life heals,

       talking together

             after so many years.

 

This morning, walking alone,

       fortunate guest walking

              the blank beach,

I remembered

—because I had listened  to both of us—

I'd had nothing to tell.

 

And that  is to say, thankfully,

Paul, I also have no memory of Rutgers.

 

 

3

 

the wind erasures

on the dunes,

polished unlike our

confused images

 

these removals are the composition

clearing

the principle of composition

 

the sand clearing the water by the end

      of the wave

the caps clearing the horizontal

      water into the air  a moment

 

and contained as in the glass ball of that moment  the coast

and its raining afternoon

and the waves in a fog of dune grass here

 

 

4

   

      No one had yet left any steps

in the sand, no old suggestion

      of limit as

 

      to my own locomotion.

I could be flying.

      —though only in this direction.

 

The return would make this clearer,

      put it on the ground,

      put it to measure, a step

 

like music This should explain

      a feeling of being fortunate  more

than just the beating out the distance one

 

in front of the other.

 

 

5

 

simply because we have forward

facing us

in which we see these things

 

 

6

 

the beach grain

by grain moving   the length,

walking the length of itself

 

 

7

 

Robison Robinson

Roberson Robertson

Robeson what does it matter?

 

none of the crackers

keeping records

on us could spell, either.

 

I am clear.

the length of myself I have moved

the melanin color to color

 

 

8

 

so when daddy decided

to open his business by filing according

to white people's spelling

 

none of his brothers had any

of the same

names

stupid crackers

 

everyone remembered them

telling you shut up

you couldn't spell

hell with it then

 

look in my goddamn face

and see

my damn name

 

 

 

 

from —Voices Cast Out to Talk Us In