Black Water Crossing

	 for Beverly Hoskins 

Martha rows me from the bleeding horror
of a sun squashed flat against the skyline
& penetrates the gloom ahead.   
nurses her madness till I ask
How long does feeling linger in the cold?

   Her breasts flatten against her fists.

A hawk plummets from the sky with a splash
that sways the boat in the swell of bubbles
that rise to the surface like bursting souls.

The moon's disc floats mirrored on the water
split by snags; Martha warns of things that rage
in the cold sunless deep.   
                                               I touch my face
rising from the brackish water
to meet me.   
                        We fear our boat will sink
on the claws.   
                          How long do feelings
linger in the cold?   
                                   We huddle close & pray
for quick thieving claws to carry us off
like raving children to the bursting stars.

Dennis M. Gaughan

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