The ship boarded. I left behind
both mooring and mountain
in dawn's washed-out light;
left buildings of pale stone
- in one you were sleeping -
saw the harbour front dwindle
touts yelling, yachts at anchor
quay at length breakwater too
all that's solid all that has stood
between me and a roistering sea.
Which of us sleeps, who stays awake?
We who knew love, to leave it, dare
we persist, face each day exposed?
Bodies tremble with longing but
briefly. Then all grows cold.
That this new light will gain force
once the breeze starts to bluster
and underfoot the deck totter
I know. At last my sight's veering
towards the sea, away from you.
From the shore, love's song wavers
is further away
in the wind's bugle
so far from those months we both
were aglow with its god. You
did not turn to me: now, turn, see
the sun's glare strike at the sea.
Over swells shear black birds:
False Bay under me. I've lost,
now I'm lost at sea. All at
sea. What can't be fathomed
glints its last then is dragged
just an anecdote in
an archive of drowned men.
Now I see: in the long run
it's only the wind will endure.