Valerie Duff

News came to me by slow boat;
                                                                 the child
on a steamer slugging all day long.
Through persimmon curtains, she slept away her infancy.
Waves specked the day-bed where she dreamt
                                                                 her mother’s best
tight leather, guessed its shift below the tongue.
A parchment-stuck religion, two-in-one.
                                                                 No ocean
trinity for us. Water heaved and dimpled to reveal
a blue eye full of greed, her whale
astonishment and frail,
                                                                 wet anarchy.