Widow’s Daughter, Nantucket, 1802

Not much between me
and the ambivalent ocean.
Sand has collected
the night, bivalves,
be they vessel or vestige,
the swell of the waves
neither comfort nor rage.
Pipers skid this way and that.
Crabs scud into holes
or don’t. Sky clasps its gray,
though it could let go,
mask itself as water.
Pray, let it slip
like a windless sail!
If scientists posit
behind gray is the blue,
why won’t it wink at me?
Why won’t it behave as fact?
Like halves of a mollusk
that hinge and breathe as one?
Mother is mean, Mother
is wrong. You’ll come,
my true love, yes, you will,
arrowing over the white caps,
kiss the salt from my eyes, lick
the brine from your body. Oh,
God, yes, there are theories,
and odds still left to defy.