After the Shipwreck, Crawling Back to You
Cold waves sort cave-floor cobble, dry sand blown
Barely above high water line.—Green strands
Of eel grass blackening, spider crab claws close
On space white as shell.—Wash me up on land
My fathers grabbed: I'll make a crawling claim
To love now, infant, but original,
A little chubby, naked, without shame
Of origin. Washed clean as sea is. Full
Of time the wave moves but the water stays
In place: I've had to love you as a man.
Rose petals bruised in love blow off, and days
Are ships the great wave crushes like beer cans.
More or less happy, I've hung out to dry—
My soaked pant-legs and sleeves flap full of sky.
Poems by Jamie Irons:
Hearing, But Not Seeing, a Cardinal
TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets