For The Crew Marooned On an Island in the Aegean Sea

At the chunk of rock
              They moor their ship their only memory
It is noon the wind lies down
              On the warm deck
And they gather the lots made of bone
              Shuffle the playing cards
Chance arcs in by the mast
              In the sound of the collapsing cards
The captain will not play the game
              His daughter is different
Master of this place
              Of measurement and particle
He will not let her at the foot of the rock
              He would like to remain faithful to the instruments

Still the ship is moored
              The island is crumbling into the sea
When light goes down the waves come up
              Slip in under the netting
Watching through themselves
              Under the pulsing stars she convokes the crew
Voice a rich mezzo she explains her calculations
              Spilling over a train of papers in her hand
Crafted in ink with symmetric diagrams
              Glossing over the blurred waves
There will be no wind for days she says
              Only the lots will serve here
Only the bones the metacarpals
              Still retain a sense of direction
The crew members must nod taken by
              Her suite of equations her form her diction
The meeting is adjourned
              And the captain unknowing does not observe
Later in his daughter’s tent
              She hums keening music
She is hearing something else
              Which filters down through dusk

The sound of birds tutoring their young
              In the violet hew call
She is hearing rituals for pulling the sun
              Passed down through the blood and sound
And she fixes the bones of the lot
              Painting over unprotected cards
Shapes the many fingers of chance
              With the sign of her death
She will not be wrong she has dedicated everything
              To the density of water the statue of Archimedes the covenant with the dead
For the captain of the ship she will be
              Agamemnon’s love in the Aegean

When morning comes pastel-blue and vaulting
              She has already entered the fullness of it
Again the crew gathers but something is on their lips
              The captain reaches for his lots
Casts the bones up into the blue
              They hang suspended for a moment
Descend down into his fragile hands cupped
              He throws his shock to the waves
Seizes the cards from his oarsman
              Lays out the five symbols but they confirm it
His daughter will be left for the wind
              To appease nothing some statue in the Acropolis
Mixing her body with the rock
              The crew bursts into sound
Wind coming like white noise
              Tone clusters mechanical voices waves piling up
Spilling out from air
              Bones gaining heat
Turning white-hot radiating bodies
              Now the explosion comes
A small bomb shatters them
              Smoke hovers over
Plumes are what is left is
              Time for them in the frames of the sea
The captain’s daughter died here on this rock
              Has it been two thousand years for her