Daybreak (James Dickey)


You sit here on solid banks trying to figure
          What the difference is when you see
       The sun and at the same time see the ocean
     Has no choice: none, but to advance more or less
               as it does:
          Which were, a moment ago, actual
     Bodiless sounds that could have been airborne,
          Now bring you nothing but face-off

     After face-off, with only gravitational sprawls
          Laid in amongst them. To those crests
Dying hard, you have nothing to say:

                    you cannot help it

  If you emerge; it is not your fault. You show: you stare

Into the cancelling gullies, saved only by dreaming a future
       Of walking forward, in which you can always go flat

        Flat down where the shadows have fallen
     Clear: where water is shucked of all wave-law:
               Lies running: runs

In skylight, gradually cleaning, and you gaze straight into
        The whole trembling forehead of yourself
     Under you, and at your feet find your body

     No different from cloud, among the other
       See-through images, as you are flawingly
          Thought of,
                 but purely, somewhere,
          Somewhere in all thought.

—James Dickey
—found in The Eagle’s Mile

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