Leyte Gulf 1944

On a coral reef you lay to die and breathless lay there eye to eye

With rippling morays where they hide in turbid currents deep inside of Leyte Gulf.

Did you see me even then?

For I, too, lay drowning in an amniotic sea, awaiting passage to maternal lethé,

Suffused in wet, subdermal light and ignorant of you.

Underwater blood that seeps from you looks more like smoke

That drifts across a battle field of sand and reef.

The odium of war persists above.

Wounded in a vast littoral uterus, you know you are a father.

Your father knows you are his son.

Alone he waits for word of you, but you are speechless now and dying.

I seem to know this all, and terrified await the turbulence of birth.

Spring ’93

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