Rinsed, simply, in water. Shining and white
As a tooth.
A farther sea. The distance from Maine to Wyoming.
When the grass hisses like rising seawater.
A caravel on the rising sea, a sleek hull
and sea-worthy spine. A Portuguese flag.
Rolled and eggy, yellow and smooth. Slipped
Into the hold.
White, island weather.
A history, Barbadoed,
Black and Irish as slaves, as tropically, brown, mixed
Children of finally painless sex
After long caravel rides. An all-white crowd,
Grilling bratwurst at Coney Island, except
Blacks cleaning brass, like rubber and gold,
The little unseen tasks of little black men.
Broken and bent, like a tailpipe in a scrap yard
In Scranton. Rusted and red.
On the thin, watery wind, the words of Gullah
Bringing news of blackened reefs of Congo and Carolina,
A history suppurating in sugar
And lost in the wash of time and in the losing sea.