Ghost Lily by Debi Peralta

Indigo Moon kneels on the dock,
pensive and still,
bathed in the light of
a harvest night’s madness.

Like Narcissus,
she’s perplexed by
the enchantment of
her own curious reflection.

But there’s a science for this:
A cautious cartography
making measure of the deep.

The sounding she takes
has infinite echo,
a great sorrowing song
pulling her down…down…down

to where the heaviness of years
compacts the sediment
into purple-blue contours
of incredibly fertile silt.

Here in the sunk
luminous creatures
semaphore in the gloom
with synchronous pulses.

A lone merman patrols an oddly familiar hulk,
brandishing his trident,
guarding the barnacled wreck
with its burden of treasure.

He allows her one coin.

It’s an uncertain currency
with a cryptic inscription,
dented and tarnished but
precious beyond count.

Unexpectedly rewarded,
she surfaces from her reverie,
a ghost lily blossoming
as she opens her eyes.

Elusive, ephemeral,
it shimmers on the water,
Indigo Moon’s mirror,
her anchor to the source.

October 2010