Singing on the Deer Docks
They mostly leave me alone
because my face is badly scarred
and my voice is tattered and frightening.
But every once in a while
someone asks me, why?
Why do you sing here day after day
on the deer docks where the black seagulls laugh?
Why do you play that patchwork accordion with your seven fingers
and sing over the clanking and fog horns?
Why do you sing the old songs of the mountainfolk scavengers
from the days before Clear Light arrived?
I sing because I once gave birth to an angel
with a recursive mind and a barn owl’s face.
I sing because the Bank Boys ripped her from my arms
and threw me in the dog hole to die.
I sing because Visitors keep coming up from the bottom of the sea
and spinning giant cocoons for themselves above the water
and no one knows why.
I sing because everyone has a spot in their field of vision
with a humanoid shape and made of white light.
I sing because I don’t know how to live
in this new world of mystery and abundance.
I sing because my bosom still aches
for the babe that they husked out for leech oil.
I sing because mankind is finally healing
but I don’t know how to live without pain.
I have a skiff down there ready to go
which I built with my own butchered hands.
I will set out the next time a Visitor arrives,
and I will come back with answers
or disappear like the others.