Archive for the ‘“Island Man”’ Category

Island Man

By Barbara Sweeney

In the great stories of love
written by men
a man always comes to the rescue
just in time –
just when the girl is about to
die and awful death or marry
a man with black hair.

Archetype, unexhausted
by the paunchy denials of middle age,
lean into these limbs.
Tell me all kinds of gauzy lies.
Be my island man,
my adventurous tide
to a place where the air is soft,
teeth are white,
and fish are friendly.
Where native women speak a gentle tongue
and tolerate me
because of your fair hair.

Your mastery of the physical world
would ensure a roof carefully thatched,
a floor expertly woven from reeds.
There would be coconuts and quiet bells,
and wine, and eventually
I would quit drinking coffee,
forget my pride,
and, fluid and unshod,
learn to work with my hands.

Heart, rainbow, shell,
sand as white a fingernail moon,
the currency of fairytales flowing between us,
ours would be a place without boredom, fatigue,
or the longing for children.
Round as a bowl,
safe as a spoon,
green shade and pales stones
rimming our lagoon,
here an island’s perfect fruit would grace our afternoons:
fragrant, unreachable, ripe.