Missing over the Sea
by Michael Brett

All the world belongs to the missing:
You see them everywhere.

Even the Sun calls aloud in every wave-
He's still alive- and the waves hold vigils,
Moving in rows like cowled monks, holding candles

And the seashells call
It's true, it's true.

I dreamt I could use a blue key to unlock the ocean
And then-as locksmiths do-
Perhaps take slivers of the waves and shells to make new keys
To unlock earth and sky-
Each one inside the other like magic boxes-
And find him, or at least discover
What became of him;

At home, the uncleared desk, the empty letters,
The marinas of empty shoes lined up like Monday yachts
And guarding suits filled with invisible men
Crowding round the ammonite phone;

But here, I watch the heavy waves,
Each like an arm flung over the eyes,
And I seemed swallowed like him,
Inside a strange and invisible gut, in a kind of marriage
That would end if he returned.

I sit on a train and think 'Is this the one he took?'
Or 'Did he ever stand in this pub?'

I have stood on his airstrip watching the wind
Ruffling the clouds and wondered
If it would all come to an end with a body
Appearing suddenly,
Like a kind of conjuring trick
Between the Moon and the sea.

I have reread all his letters and I still don't know.

Copyright © 2012 - Michael Brett
Published: 10/11/12   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem