Charon
Bruce Bond

Charon

And when I took each coin
from his eye in payment,
I saw the minted eagle
pressed into the skin there,
its image laid so long,
first in silver, then flesh,
the lid too was coined,
and thus only a thing
of value when passed on,
as cells in life are passed
in trade for newer cells.

But this day, like any,
was unlike others, and
as I pierced the harbor
with my prow, he woke,
then stepped ashore to look
at the great white cliff,
his eyes too quick to see
the watery blink eyes need
to see, to know the world
we spin is winged in dark
and never seen again.

Bruce Bond

is the author of fifteen books, including, most recently, For the Lost Cathedral (LSU, 2015), The Other Sky (Etruscan, 2015), and Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (University of Michigan Press, 2015). Four of his books are forthcoming: Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, University of Tampa Press), Gold Bee (Crab Orchard Open Competition Award, Southern Illinois University Press), Sacrum (Four Way Books), and Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems (LSU). He is Regents Professor at University of North Texas.