Later - but soon, now, soon -
No matter for my terror, my whole dread,
A darkest hour of darkness will close down,
A midnight midnight, when I'll strip
To my diminished self, and wading in,
Yield to the suck of sand between my toes,
To the swirl that laps against my shin,
Indifferently seeking; feel the wind
That, scentless, blows to me from anywhere,
Indifferently tender; know the tide
Swell up-- so wombs swell —then
Slide back, swell up again,
Its spray no longer glinting in that dark,
Indifferently washing at my flesh;
Then quailing feel
The firm preemption of the undertow
Indifferently grasp me, levering
The knees to buckle under as
The wide enormous combers wallowing
And whelming, drag me down,
Indifferently urgent, out of time
As even darkness is annulled
And blindness blinded, and
Indifferently cancelled is my voice
That whispers up to nothing as the whole
Enormous warp of water swings me out:
I have struck my fist upon this roiling ocean
And made it ring like bronze.

(a boy nine years old)

The blowing wind, the wind blowing away
Summer and all its shreds, balloons and bags,
Blows without budging much
My boy hale on the lawn, hilarious.
Summer and all its shreds? Of course;
But this wind blows
Steadily all day long
The sun into the west, the clouds away,
Blows sleet or silky weather, and snuffs out
Night's smithereens of light, whirls in
All seasons, whirls them round
My boy bold on the lawn, exhilarate
Tensing to take the wind that warps toward him
Years, years and years;
Strangers and friends, fields, cities, galaxies,
And wraps them round his hands,
Around his heart; a wind that blows
Quickening to his seed,
Tears to his eye,
Trenches in brow and jaw,
Men for his games and wars,
Companions, enemies; a wind that blows
Young girls with gawky loves, and one or two,
Yearning, on flame, a wind within the wind;

I

Stripping within the cove, but far enough
Back from the hunting waves,
He left it wedged between two lava rocks
With sneakers, shorts, a rucksack or whatever

Time ticked away, but he did not come back.
I wear it on my wrist now and
From time to time I raise it to my ear
To hear it tick his years away. Not mine

II

Swaying my bed at night, I feel it rise,
That surf which, savaging, first flung
The swimmer down into the undertow
Swirling below the breakers,
Buckling his knees and sucking him
Far down, far out, out where
(It knocks and rises toward my tilting bed)
The winter current, born that year
One month too soon
Rushes its muscled flow beneath the cliff
Even as I turn in sleep
And follow him

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