The sea marks time like a sundial’s arm,
steadily extending its reach.
Crawling back, it vomits on the beach—
jellyfish as violet as violets.
My whiskey, a soft amber, floating ice.
We are, and then we aren’t;
that’s the mortal art.
I stood dying at the ocean’s side
to dream up only this.
What could I do but make my shape?
I stake my shadow to this place.
Copyright © 2012 James Arthur
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.