by George Szirtes

Consider the drowned
packing the sea and rising
like a dank mountain.

Crowding the water,
packed close like cargo, the drowned
vanish unlisted.

How deep the sea is,
how fierce and cold, untroubled
by its history.

We have history
in which we drown our sorrows
as in saltwater.

We don’t understand
death in the way the sea does
We set out in hope.

Now we lie, piled up,
as if we were intended
to be together.

But nothing is meant.
The sea does not bear meaning.
It is just a throat.

We too have our throats
but they are filled with water
and grief and money.

Those who ferry us
betray us. We can’t trust them
but rely on them.

You will recall us
in your private drowned moments.
You will recall us.

Last updated December 21, 2022