Ciarán Carson


Labuntur et Imputantur

It was overcast. No hour at all was indicated by the gnomon.
With difficulty I made out the slogan, Time and tide wait for no man.

I had been waiting for you, Daphne, underneath the dripping laurels, near
The sundial glade where first we met. I felt like Hamlet on the parapets of Elsinore,

Alerted to the ectoplasmic moment, when Luna rends her shroud of cloud
And sails into a starry archipelago. Then your revenant appeared and spake aloud:

The Fetch

I woke. You were lying beside me in the double bed,
prone, your long dark hair fanned out over the downy pillow.

I’ d been dreaming we stood on a beach an ocean away
watching the waves purl into their troughs and tumble over.

Knit one, purl two, you said. Something in your voice made me think
of women knitting by the guillotine. Your eyes met mine.

The fetch of a wave is the distance it travels, you said,
from where it is born at sea to where it founders to shore.