Howard Firkin
Who answers your erratic semaphore?
Who’s watching? Who interprets each wide loop
and wave, the wild extensions as you stoop
and stretch. Who watches, and from which imagined shore?
      She reads her answer in a patterned sea,
in Jesus holes appearing in the clouds,
in flocks of terns that splinter silver sherds
from waves, in white caps, sea wrack, secret words
the beach confides to her alone aloud:
      the everything and all that isn’t me.

Exact, astatic, jointed, this strange dance
might be a ritual another age
could understand. She is her circumstance:
a song bird singing its elaborate cage.