Men of Aran: A Sentence

Dressed in seaweed
and mist, cankers
of barnacles and
broken buoy bells,
the shades of fishermen
arrive to watch
their sons and grandsons,
nephews and old friends,
the still-living in their bobbled
bonnets and rolled
trousers — to watch them
launch their currachs
while basking sharks
drift close on shifting
currents, enough oil
in their lazy livers
for months of light
beside the shifting North
Atlantic, postal code
of fishermen and riggers
and bones — as Hart Crane
wrote — tumbling like dice
in the dark at the bottom
of the world, a darkness
that lightens as
the atmospheres lessen
and finally shifts to gray
at the edge of a breaking
wave, then briefly to
white as the wave covers
rock so black it seems
more of the same,
more sea.

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