Pink Reef

By Robert Fernandez

Canarium Books
April 2013


[I chose...]

I chose
pink reef surging toward
the name of the dog

pink reef shedding under the tree,
snapping at masks


I wanted to understand
this ethos of cameras
strung through juniper leaves,

juniper lenses seeing
at the tops of the trees:

a bread
of violets
baked in

a bread
of mussels
glutting the

a cache of
roe in the


[in names...]

in names I pass, in pleasures,
shoulders seen from the beginning

we remain rain, remain incomplete,
who of swans in the mind

who can forgive us—black beaks budding—
(who can tell us our names again) how strange to be called:

masses of yellow weather just beyond those hills
egrets beneath lemon leaves just beyond those hills

no one defends us we are our eyes
(how strange to be called F-e-r-n-a-n-d-e-z)

Marietta, combs and sweet cakes just beyond those hills
zinnia and wild rose, acres of flowering just beyond those hills

& in the valleys
          when I wake,
in the valleys when I wake...


[first channels]

first the channel’s fine-meshed currents
drawn beneath steel wire and passing cars, first
the pelicans perched on channel markers, and first
the sound of a wet towel falling and hands complicit
in love of the serpent, first golden legs
braided in the grass or is it morning and do we
wake to find, is it morning and do we find
Lament for
the Makers
for form is all,
salt is all, sand, light, and air is all,
Medusa with her brain-coral gaze
at the bottom of the sea is all, sun’s
descent is all
& laughing, loosely
laughing, these
that I collect that stand my spine straight and like a candle
gnashes in laughing, weeps
blisters in laughing—
still none of us
are known