"Ocean"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
June 2 2009 6:55 AM

"Ocean"

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Tony Hoagland read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes..

Good bye again. Say there is a little song in my head

And because of it I can't sleep or change my mind
About the future. Now the song runs all the way down

To the beach where I sit as if the sky

Were my room now. No one, not even you,
can hear me singing.

As if the music rose from the mouth of the ocean.

Like rain before it reaches us.
Like wind twirling dresses on the clothesline.

Who has no one has
the history of the ocean.

Lord, give me two more days. So that
The last moments may be with someone.

.

Jason Shinder is the author of three collections of poetry, including Every Room We Ever Slept In, Among Women, and Stupid Hope. He edited numerous anthologies, including The Poem That Changed America: "Howl" Fifty Years Later. Shinder was on the faculty of the graduate writing programs at Bennington College and the New School. He founded and served as director of the YMCA National Writer's Voice and YMCA of the USA Arts and Humanities, and he also directed the Sundance Institute's Writing Program. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1955 and split his time between New York City and Provincetown, Mass., until his death in 2008.

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