Melville and the White

(A brief, and slightly tangled history of white…)

The whites of your
eyeballs, silk retina's; egg-shells
lolling across the countertop
in the morning before I crack them
over a clear tupperware bowl, letting the
yellowing mucus slither free like spit
from chapped lips.

The good-luck charm of a white rock,
old roman wives tales, my skip along the
sidewalk intent on my mission of
finding you one.

I want to roll my fingers along it, listen
to it crackle against my rings, knuckles
curling like ringlets around my hand.

I want to see the white light in your
eyes when I give it to you,

I want to suck your
off-white teeth dry,

feel my pearly wrist-bones bend
under my skin as I swivel a fork around that same
clear bowl, watching the freckled salt flaks
evaporate.

White is the elephant in the room,
unavoidable.

White are the cuticles of my fingernails
as they pull page after page aside; white
socks propped on the glass coffee table,
the image of a white Hanoverian flag
flapping in a whistling white breeze,

the clouds that hover above the sea
when an afternoon of imperial sun
detonates like a slosh of kismet hard
across your brow,

those gulls,
kelp and baleen swelling,

the white of the oil that keeps
your candles aflame to write such
obsessive poetry.