It is an enduring satisfaction for our species to make little systems and tend to them.
Destiny, protect me from the world.
Men on the pier catch skates in April, the flags
on their coolers billowing in the wind. They keep
buckets of empty fish heads at their feet, hooks
glinting and trembling in the sunlight. Teenagers
stare at their phones and I remind myself they
never cared about fishing. Here then, is my mouth,
moving in prayer, the heretic in me slumped
along the railing, bored, watching a father with
a cigarette dangling from his lips push a stroller
to the end of the pier and show his son the sea
before turning quickly and heading back. Kneel
and you will believe. The skates are young, alien,
mouths gaping as they suffer in the air, slick
bodies curling and unfurling before a boy with
pliers comes to save them. The sun disappears,
as though some dark, heavy lid came down
and sealed itself across the sky. What god
meant when he said I want you alone forever
is I love you, my darling, I want you all to myself.