Monday, May 16, 2011

The Ladder

Plug of saltwater taffy in the cheek--
sweet bridge to the play of white light

on water: lakelight, sealight,
riverlight, bathlight. Dark waters

open at the head and close. The child's body,
slick, emerges--the beach of days

torches a horseshoe crab
upside-down on the strand, displays its

bleached bowl of knives, shattered clock. Years later,
pale in every pore, the raven

on starched sheets raises our arms--
dark waters open at the head

and close. Kneeling in baptismal grass--
our eye of water in the barley--I saw

black shot bodies of crows--what can't
be reached is god. Where did the doctors

disappear--up the gulled staircase?
Who grinds the temple fathers silent

in their sepulchers? A molar of sugar, blades, and salt
hurtling backward plucked by flesh into

dark waters open at the head and closed.

-Joshua Corey