Anne Holub

At the Edge of the World

it is night, there is a lighthouse

on an island where

a man climbs the tower stairs

high above the rock,

a lighthouse where the man

bends his knees

slowly, to absorb the shock

of the cape, this ocean, blackness

and where the water gnaws the rocks

the starfish are prying muscles

from basalt pools, like the backseats

of cars, they are hungry like boys

who must return by twelve, return

there, like a flood, like

a star at the edge of

the sea, at the turn of the cape

the sea is black, is torn, cold

like legs just opened, muscles

waiting for the inevitable,

the starfish don’t have anywhere else

there is a boat, the crew praying,

and everyone is waiting

for the answer, watching,

clinging to the idea

of a lighthouse,

the rocks clinging

to the edge of the sea

the man is watching,

holding eight hours of light, holding

eight hours of kerosene

like the sunrise

watching the blackness

he is watching,

their prayers, he is holding

their beam of light

at the edge of the rocks

he is clinging to the rocks,

waiting for the inevitable, waiting

for the beam of light

to show him