How Fast is Slow?
Silent, cold and calm, night skies may
Begin and end in curtained agitations.
Given how tenderly tissue takes to touch,
The dream of skies could hold
A crowd without more guessing than
What draws children to the scale of nautical
Distances in search of seaways beyond
The range of neglected family confusions;
And who could speak of touch per se
Or ask indirect questions found to pull
Answers from trunks of thankless feeling?
To sort touch from feeling
The present and the absent, both, betray
Promise merely to suggest sea-tight vessels
Must remain no more than lightly moored
And evade grift by precisely recalling
Which helmsmen's words for change collide
Or reveal blind navigators setting out on currents
Eliding dreams, memories and translations
For sailors haunting back-lanes
While searching among wave-razors
For ways to stay in touch.
Even today, rival voyagers might confess:
“To touch, to feel, to speak barely form
Constellations,” but drifters cannot tell
Whether stars offer celerity or quotes.
Through a sailor's apprehension raised to
A navigator's shame, such divergence dispels
One deceptive sea-dog‘s account of separation
Not from touch, care or spite,
But from all that went before.