Produced by Dennis Camire

This week’s poem is by Annaliese Jakimides of Bangor. The poem first appeared in “Off the Coast.”

 

MY OCEAN AS THE BLIND MAN SEES IT

By Annaliese Jakimides

 

Instinctively he turns his face up into

the thin, buttery light that lies on the back

of the sea, along the horizon he has never seen.

In his mind, there is no image against which

to measure this absence, only a sea

of nothingness: he can’t even call it

black — he doesn’t know black or red or yellow,

no pearl of sun on salt-watered ankles.

 

Horizons and edges, buttery light, the buoy bouncing

on the lip of a mid-swell wave — or the wave,

for that matter — are all inaccessible

to him. Well, not the wave, actually: each lick,

every beat as it reshapes, refolds, reforms

into another and another climbs inside

his ear and tunnels into labyrinths the rest of us

can’t know, too distracted by the plovers and rose hips,

the dusty crab shells in the sand, the fluorescent green kayak

a quarter-mile out. His hands play wind, his fingers rake

new scores in the air. As he composes

sheet after sheet, a transcription of sorts,

his chest beats out breath one, breath two, breath three,

exhaling the salt of Zanzibar and Honshu and Lubec he took

in only moments before, his intonation

shaped by whale vibrations, porpoise speak, eider cry.

 

Dennis Camire can be reached at [email protected]


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