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Rime

by Ian C. Webb

Artwork, “Improvisation” by Gina Yusim


Through the mist on the line
of a disused branch, half

of a mile, as the albatross
flies – towards the harbour’s

former glories. You
in your mangy house without

heat, tap your foot, to the
feet in a musty book, on

the carpetless floorboards
on which you sleep. As

for me, in a sweat on
an unmade bed, I cast off

from the shores of the seas
of the moon, climbing

the mast of the rapid eye,
transporting a cargo

of constellations: Chameleon,
Scorpius, Serpens,

Hydra – bright as the dust
of a stick of charred coal.

Climb into the nest
of a murder of crows; have

I charred each corner
of terra firma that one shade

brighter? “I’m not sure
you are who you say you

are,” you said on Victoria’s
Promenade. The sun

comes up like a salvaged
wreck, I gasp as if hanged

from the noose of a rope.
I’ll drag my feet to the edge

of the strand, hold
the sea to the ear of my

buried head, hear oil
on waves spark into a blaze.


Published inPoetryChapel Hill