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Saint-John Perse’s Ocean
                                                For Vitalii Haida

Saint-John Perse’s Ocean is the intention of dark lines
which have woven together into a hieroglyph of the name
of the river that flows into the pit of loneliness

the moon’s thin horn has been chopped up by the waves
into silver needles into fish scales it shimmers
with painful light resembling the glitter of foil

autumn leaves stick to the body of a grass-snake
and crawl away with it into memory’s burrow, leaving
the motherland-tree and sister ant to the gusts of wind

in the air – a piercing madness like an incision
bleeds bitter smoke and humid light
cobwebs ring with a high-pitched sound of broken glass

where dark light flows – and in the depths
of water’s velvet scroll cascades in a gold satin-stitch
and fish skeletons cover this random embroidery

this is the mystery of the heart’s cut root-seaweed
a sea-urchin bush-white when touched –
it shyly sniffs darkness and turns into it

and the brittle sugar of fog sticks like lime
to the seashore Asian blood reminds you
of an expanse an eye-circle cannot encompass

words which the tongue can’t fling into dance
their transparent cloth-coarse and black olives
the wasp’s ornament you can’t reproduce and can’t remember

dark nighttime water shines with seashells and starfish
shimmers with pearl  and fades in the tar of air
thickens like zebra’s skin on ribbed waves

stillness wraps the lines in the golden foil of a cocoon
the form of rounded time traced in ink
a circle of consciousness – white like the thread of a web –

the spiders of time and the mice of time – signs of existence
are covered by the moss of none – being they glare with green eye
swallow our thoughts and salivate over our shadows

the ocean is all around us – the hieroglyph of its name
who’ll  be the first to soak their feet and walk on water?
and only a died-out candle like a finger shows the wind’s direction