A Whiff of Mussel Mud


Taking note of a pallet’s weight on the scale,
The sudden stink of mussel mud drifting
Through the warehouse doors, blown off the bay
On the south shore of this northern island, lifted
Me up and led me like Ariadne’s thread
Through a synaptic complex of daedals
Till I landed, a boy, on the north shore
Of a southern island, that fertile pong
In my nostrils, breeze tangling my hair,
Seabirds shrieking their raucous sad songs—

Then, from the barren sky, a man’s voice spoke
And I woke from my dream and I was here,
In a warehouse choked with diesel smoke,
The familiar reek gone from the air.
I shook myself, finished taking note
Of the weight of heaped freight on the scale.

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