A Passing

He fell
under orders to stand.
He held
under orders to breathe.

Dogsbreath rose in there
old and shackish
too dark to tell
of inner timbers
brushed black
or left to darken naked
against hazel brumes
a dented pail
cornered alone
wincing —
the rage of water
the rage of pellets
the rage to reduce
to nothing
to one:

and you turned
from the window.

res bina; or, The Rebis*

Once more
these brackish waters
opaque and mucid
pierheaded from the shore
fishspine piers
jutting the bay
and set upon this body
bedded with dirty browns
half exposed
but no swell
no tide to sway
no buoyant chimes
spinepiers that jut tirelined
and the boats are all out.

Once more she comes
removed by the bay
never a backward glance
never a plea for the lot
nothing in the concrete grove
she leaves
bare under heavy cloaks
the bloody basin
passes stained
flayed scales and soft
knots of mutilated pink.

Come out
come out
smell of the shore
yellow crest of the bay
yellow hoodfoam blinders
where footfalls meet the distant
roar and escape
the bridge
north spanning eastward
beneath westward lanes
across broken waters
split by an island.

Slow barge
enters to escape the bay
beneath their roar
white as they come
red as they go
she sees the bay
as it has never been seen before
wades into its shallows
past twilight
to greet a morning
permeated with mercury.

*Note: The Rebis (from Latin res bina, "twofold matter") is the alchemical symbol for the divine androgyne.