Nebraska Center for Writers

THE DEEP
by Erin Noteboom

We used to know this:
every opening is a door
for ghosts. Even a yawn's
not innocent. A wound
breaks the body's gates
open. What enters?
Weather wisdom. Phantom
voices. Sadness. Gentleness.
The smell of apples.

Why do they say a leg
is lost? We know
what happened.

                                    A ship burial:
the splash, the kiss
of salt, the pale light
going slowly out,
the weighted canvas
blossoming open, amputated
legs and hands rocking free —

soft green lights
in the deep
and changing sea.

Reprinted with permission
from Ghost Maps: Poems for Carl Hruska
Copyright © 2003
by Erin Noteboom
Wolsak & Wynn


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