Let Me Begin Again, by Philip Levine

Let me begin again as a speck 
of dust caught in the night winds 
sweeping out to sea. Let me begin 
this time knowing the world is 
salt water and dark clouds, the world 
is grinding and sighing all night, and dawn 
comes slowly and changes nothing. Let 
me go back to land after a lifetime 
of going nowhere. This time lodged 
in the feathers of some scavenging gull 
white above the black ship that docks 
and broods upon the oily waters of 
your harbor. This leaking freighter 
has brought a hold full of hayforks 
from Spain, great jeroboams of dark 
Algerian wine, and quill pens that can’t 
write English. The sailors have stumbled 
off toward the bars of the bright houses. 
The captain closes his log and falls asleep. 
1/10’28. Tonight I shall enter my life 
after being at sea for ages, quietly, 
in a hospital named for an automobile. 
The one child of millions of children 
who has flown alone by the stars 
above the black wastes of moonless waters 
that stretched forever, who has turned 
golden in the full sun of a new day. 
A tiny wise child who this time will love 
his life because it is like no other.

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