What Is Withheld

I was entrusted with throwing bread
                                      ahead of the weighlock so the boats
could skim a mealock without being
                                      scenes. The one I loved had sea eyes,
made me green. When I say
                                      boats, I don’t mean goats, but dogs.
Each one had several shames
                                      so we called them Come-you,
from the glottal, a private stutter.
                                      Come-you’s father gave me a letter
to toss across the sands. This was
                                      long after apples disappeared
from shops. I was entrusted
                                      throwing grass into moss. My favorite
thing: to eat book after book while
                                      reading apples. The letter said wait
by the viburnum, which looks
                                      away, then jump. His father paid.
A signist by trade, he rendered
                                      the boards in local idioms
as Come-you changed. This was
                                      many years before we met again
in the hearken, a marked growl, a float—
                                      before the stave and tale. When I say
hall, I don’t mean all or hole: a place
                                      where every empty thing is saved.
Boat, boa, buoy, boy, bowie, beau.
                                      This was before they made the dogs
dig up their bones. Sometimes it is
                                      not to believe. If it wouldn’t
happened to my loved ones I wouldn’t
                                      believe it.


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