Small Claims

We who slap and slop beside the sea
drown out the wails of a man
who has stitched his lips shut

His voice is an urgent record            scratched,
embroidered by speakers of tongues
close but not his

This voice carries other voices,
island-hopping voices: strained
like water forced
into the cloud of its birth

prayers hammered into the beach
with screwdrivers
and cans of fetid beer

the insatiate             wind

skin drums beating a jig on the deck of the Titanic

a hunger artist
laying hands on the pyre of vague mercies
dispatched by a mother he never knew


K Robin-White: Ricochet Magazine