AFTER THE CATCH
The sun is nudged from the plank pier
into the open sea.
A handful of fishermen rise in its place.
Buildings cast shadows like nets.
Scattered apartment lights stick out like thumbs
pointing to themselves.
A bar’s haphazard neon
like seraphim eyes
seduces the sinews of the workers
in the outlying boatyards.
They march by shop signs that
tremble like thighs in the wind,
old women on porches who
inscribe their good times
on the heads of knitting needles.
A hard day seeks its harmonies
in beer, in shots of whiskey.
Today’s catch is gutted with talk,
its passions boasted into divinity.
In the heartwood dark of the bar,
sweat wanes, memory blossoms.
Behind the counter, a painting of a naked woman
shimmers ribbons of flesh,
a sun in its own way
hovering over an ocean of glistening bottles.
Eyes rock like lanterns.
Thoughts fuse sea and heaven.
-- John Grey