The only difference
between the cliffs
and her stiff-skirted figure
both are slate- blue
layered and distinct. Underscored
with a crinoline, she keeps her guard
and endures the wind’s push
toward the water.
A taffeta bellwarning others not to come
too close -- or land on the same beach
that measures her shadow
with long strips of sodden grass.
She grieves and would preferto have been carved
out of stone, a witness to time
not a live totem
that spirits and angels impartwith their insight. Her pale throat
hosting other voices – while muting
Days ago,she found the remnants
of a piano washed ashore –
some of its wooden keys
laid out like rib bones. The breath
of Debussy emanatingfrom the ruin. Nuages, ces Nuages --
clouds, those clouds.
She wants to be sucked backinto his being, into the first piece
she learned to play, drowning out
a chorus of strangers.