Elaine Bougie Gilligan

Music: Empty Boat: Mozambiquan Beaches

Walking on Water


We walk on water: more than half of our bodies

at times, such as at birth, a full three quarters,

like the three fourths of the world

which is ocean.


We hold the taste of water,

the purest water, as tasting of nothing,

like the taste of ourselves.


To live is to thirst,

and everything about thirsting

pulls deeply as a whale,

drawn into the great sea,

those waters which never get any larger

or smaller, only cast themselves high into spumes of

cloud, or contract into creaking shelves of ice,

run down rock and break it, scour

the magma of deep sea fissures

with a hissing saltiness,

coil their way into all life,

all that we know

of it.





The waters love the moon,

are indifferent to us,

run forward and back in their own liquid thirst to

break the hold of this ball of rock and liquid iron


while we try to walk on water,

slow and out of our element,

like men on the moon,

like oilslicked creatures

mired in a fantasy of ruling

these seas, these rocks and

our own





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