small textlarge text

Marilyn McCabe

Way of Salt and Foam

Download MP3

They are coming: the many bullets
of light, its blanket bomb,
shrapnel in the eyes from
the day in waves. No land in this,
the armistice of dawn.
Will this moving ever stop?
And where it stops, what then?

I am a man of few wishes but one,
that the day is no longer my enemy,
the night not my captor.
I wish too for a window, World,
to open and close. And a fire
to ignite and quench.

Alleyways reveal themselves
in the troughs, shadows
of my old neighbors, their backs
disappearing into doorways.
Sometimes at night the strange splashing
is my roof giving way, one corner
cracking, beginning to gush.

Of the thirst, I have nothing to say.
I think about my books,
see the colors of their spines
glow and fade in this rhythm
that is some devil's heartbeat.
Of my mother's face, I have no memory.

Seasonless, the sea
is its own winter; with each douse,
I am drought, my skin a desert.
My guts are salt lick, cracked pot
that holds nothing, my shit
small stones with the faces of school friends.

The future is a strange bird,
occasional, exotic, mute.
My hands once remembered knots and silks.
Demented now they shake, fumble,
are concerned now with no pins
but the teeth of flying fish.


Download MP3

a thousand angles
of snowfall the awful
tenderness of flesh


Download MP3

In dream the scent is of my mornings,

sticks worn to warm
my fingers, a stone bowl, then

water turned wolf turned
rumble I'm singeing the fire

is humming
the fire is cracking

open tree slinging rootward
sparks as rain wind fetches

I scramble away then
watch the thatch of my roof catch

as if in conversation with the grass
lean, offering, and I am running

forest fists and hurls
song hiss and racket

birds birds
cough and reel

My world turns in this instant
strange, what nurtured me feeds

flame, what held me now skeletal.
Morning a dark place

on my knees in the river.
Scent of apples baking,
then burnt.

➥ Bio