The name of the island was Island and the name of the Friday

 was Good. Sunflower roots lay smoked on a bed of moss

over sea-flattened stones and sealed in a cedar box, like a tiny

 coffin on the china: the unpent


smoke outpuffed its alderwood burn on our cheeks.

 The constituents of a thirty-year marriage


lay before us, like a mis-en-place:

 ingredients of pleasure, local


and strange. We assembled them as if we had never

 used them before, like the raw


deer hearts strewn with wildflowers, pearls

 of herring roe scooped up on branches of hemlock .

 Stinging nettles, sweet, long-roasted: where,

 where now was their sting?


 To name an island for the very idea

of an island: its insularity, its

nonnegotiable unfluidity.

 All pent in by what it is not --


the restless aqueous -- so its name

 insisted it was what it was.


The name of the marriage had come to be Angry Teen .

 The name of the marriage had come to be Did We Fuck Up.


Skunk cabbage burst all over from the roadside murk,

 more xanthic than sunflowers or than noon sun, more


skunk-scent-insistent than skunks. The decedents

 of the earliest settlers, said the brochure's typo, still live on the island today.

 So the dead walk here, all

 pent in by what they are not.


 The island was Island Island. The god

 was I AM WHO I AM. As

in the beginning He made each thing, it seemed

 to startle Him to realize


it was good, as if good

 were something else He gave birth by merely


having it in His mind.

 Glimmers of saltwater poured off the clay and marl


and dry was born. Island lay isolate, not-wet

 in the wet. Is land was born.


We smoothed and refrosted the marred

 crust of what we'd made, and

 the idea of marriage was reborn, the idea

 of marring unborn.


 The chef came to our room to fix the unstoppable furnace.

 He smelled of sorrel and roasted oysters and sage as he knelt

to fiddle with the gas-blast. Dolce far niente painted on the wall.

 The sweet accomplishment of nothing.


Only when God began to do, after untimeable stasis,

 did He find out how good


His pouring-apart of opposites -- sunrip and earth, up-

 tick of skunk cabbage and its stench, and


sunflower root and the dark box it huddled in -- might be.

 Let us divide decedents


from descendent, motherfather from son. Somewhere, even here, a furious

 angel struggles in air to aim his chalice


exactly to catch each blood-spurt off the cross.

 It must be saved. In three days the decedent will live


again and want back His blood. The island's name

 in some no-longer translatable tongue was said


 were all that an island could be. The name of the marriage, as if


we made it, by calling it, so

 was said -- behold, it startles us still -- to be good.