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The Keys

Broken ivories
the blue piano
of the sea.

We have come
from the bitter city
to heal ourselves.
We have come
looking for a patch of beach
not yet built into a fortress
of real-estate greed,
a coral reef
not yet picked clean
of buried treasure,
not yet bare of birds.

The first night in the Keys,
I dreamed I was a bird
soaring over a hilly city,
soaring & dipping
like a gull or egret.
& I thought:
'Ah- this is a flying dream!
Enjoy it.'

But I really think
that my soul
has been transported
for a night
into the body of
a bird
& I was flying.

I woke up
arms weary,
eyes red.
The beach was dazzling
with its white sand,
the sun blinding,
& I seemed to know the palm trees
from above
as well as below.

They root in the sand
with elephant feet,
yet they also root
their delicate fronds
in air.
& these are a comfort
as you fly
half bird, half human
through a dream of sky.

Everything was new
to a spirit
so divided
between two kingdoms.
The water was alive
with fish,
the air with birds
& palm fronds,
clouds, thunderous presences
of rain
gathering & parting,
& fiery sun playing through.

I knew
that I stood
on a patch of earth
connected to the sky,
that my heart beat
with the sea,
that my arms moved
with the clouds,
that my flesh
was finally irrelevant
though it surrounded me
as the case of a piano
surrounds its strings,
while the fingers play
on the ivory keys
& the human music
rises to the sky.

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