Trash Baby

written at a concert

Rocky shores and icy waters: a thin plume of smoke finds the sky above the white lumbering bulk of the ferries.

Palmer has come to this shore, barefoot and nude, a flickering shape huddled against the railroad embankment, here between the trains and the Sound, to barter the remains of her youth against the death of her brother. The water’s vast eye turns to her in the darkness, and she cringes at the very edge of the firelight.

“Blood,” she promises it, “quick with life.” There is a stirring in the rocks and driftwood behind her, and she turns, addresses herself to the raccoon and possums that regard her. “Time.” She backs toward the water until it licks at her heels, he calves, her waist, her neck. “All that I have and more. Please.”

The mournful cry of a train whistle finds her ears beneath the waves; she opens herself to hope and sinks, sinks, sinks.