Why does the deep seem deeper, the sea
wilder this morning? Next to it, life
is a static sun without warmth or light.
Our backs, not bent over papers at a desk, uncoil.
Lungs fill with air. Freed from leather, our feet
leave blurred, disappearing shapes
on the wave-swept bed. Friendships, birthdays,
personal matters don’t count. Everything is relative,
says my uncle, lying half-blind on his sickbed
near a window so he can hear the ocean.
The breeze carries salt and decaying fish.
Unable to eat, he sips lemongrass tea, dreams
of garlic rice. Don’t sing about your city, leave it
in peace, he says, then asks to hear calypso.