At the Antiques Show

an Inuit carving of a hunter, harpoon and whale
sits in the estuary of my palm. The crowd’s roar
fades to a gentle lap of waves
the rhythmic dip of my kayak paddle
sweeping northern waters. Does the whale hear
the hunter’s prayer as they both exhale, the harpoon
released and then received? Meat and bone transformed
by blade and fire — as am I – resting on hot pink granite
waves echoing in my belly as I am lulled
into this she-land that is beyond antique:

                    her langorous curves sculpted by boreal fingers
breasts are polished argentine, pink
nipples erect as inukshuks, her veins black, deep…

unfurling the taut memory of that August morning
when only the father survived a storm out here…
hearing how after hours of struggle, he cut the line
that held him to his drowned wife and two daughters

their bodies wedged into her clavicle outcrops.
She will not let them go. They are in no hurry
as she bathes them in the ripple of her tides.

A thousand Inuit sculptures emerge from the waves
as I sever the line between memory and dream
to carve these words

adrift, in the voices and clutter of the show
I listen for a prayer.

From Bone Dream