Nights and Stars

Nights and Stars
There are nights at sea
when everything I think
I know about stars
is exploded by the great
mass of them, their clamor
and proximity.
The universe then
becomes a single song,
however infinite
its notes and rhythms.
The women I sail with
hum when aloft, afraid
a little of what might
breach a calm sea,
break a horizon.
They keep
their boundaries neat
by never singing
the whole song.
They coil real hemp.
They hone a real harpoon.
Some starry nights
though, the song
boils up unbidden.
What death-defying
work then to keep
the hands at small tasks,
to keep their voices from joining in. 
Sherry Robbins, or, The Whale, BlazeVOX [books]

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