Oracle

Warren Slesinger

 

The water worried me
when the gray face that floated over it
in lines and patches to the shore

lapped and slavered at the edges,
and sucked at the sack of its tongue.
The water worried me

for a scud of white saliva was its spit,
and the gray face that floated over it
in line and patches to the shore

tugged at the ruptured fundament,
its teeth pebbles overgrown with moss.
The water worried me

when it muttered a riddle of bubbles
and duff as the gray face that floated over it
in lines and patches to the shore

crumpled at the corners of its mouth and eyes.
The water worried me

for it ground its teeth on the truth
that drew me to it.

WARREN SLESINGER was a university press editor for twenty years, and currently teaches at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort. He received an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers Workshop, an Ingram-Merrill grant and a South Carolina Poetry Fellowship. His poems and “definitions” have appeared in New Letters, The Iowa Review, The Georgia Review, and The South Carolina Review.


image: Gustav Klimt, Philosophy, final state (detail), 1907