Tell him not to look so intense

Tell him not to look so intense.
The house shakes and that word
is meaningless, anyhow.

I was like that once, only
looking at a map of river deltas,
sunken green land between tawny ridges,
it seemed as if the inevitable rising tides
might stretch as far north as Minnesota.

Or that I would have to kill my father.

It never came to either.

At the sea’s edge,
where Freud caught eels,
and sharpened his scalpel,
a thousand pebbles dried.

We think we know the world too well,
inventing convenient melodramas,
exit strategies, complications
to be met with knitted brows.

Svalbard: perhaps I’ll go there.

Tom Phillips