Ghost Ship

Caribbean, 2012

 

I.

 

Single chimes, the cloudy skies

And toothy grins holding hands

With the past and the recent news—

The makings of a slow burn that

Savages as it walks, from cabins,

Hand in hand, through atriums

And marbled slabs, brings talk,

Like lovers, in the backs of throats;

The most private of moments,

Where necks meet collars

Or hearts meet the solder,

Resting just out of reach

In swirls of vague glass—

Meet the events of my crash:

A picked-up tempo on deck top;

A followed path to thousands

Of waves, and droplets, and crowds

Awaiting the deliverance of sound

To sidewalks, down a stair—;

My mother was there—moments, but

A part of pairs, held hands in the thick, deep

Hope of drink, at a club, when the waves,

The waves are up, black, of every evil thing

Seen fluttering like horsemen and ghosts

Embarking from every empty chair,

Every empty room, every empty bottle,

Every empty cup left by a chaise lounge,

In a ghost ship’s zippered, black, violin-blistered lung.

 

II.

 

The sad close up of a wedding ring while

The sky froths with the tops of waves; the ship

Plows through, nary a copper tongue arrives,

Conducted like a small choir, a finished

Touch, always my best; the morning

After, a misty, grey light, where words

Come halting skyline, as vague as shoulders,

A salting of brow, head tilted to dark water—

Hurricane weather, with fingers and flowers

Made more, or nothing, made to each

Moment, much longer, to drink fire water;

Drunk down the hatch, made every moment

Clouded, detached; I don’t want lonely

Grasps on legs, on person, in my eyes—

Played along to a heartbeat that’s mine

And upward sitting knees—the club beats

Harder, harder than my heart beats on the

Skin of my Hitchcock sleeve.

 

III.

 

Paint in the water, thrown-up like sediment;

My grandparents put me down, rested my head

Upon an altar of wine and empty-stomach retch;

To give in to the specter of girl, across a room,

Staring me down, telling me wretched things;

Riding drunk up an elevator to sky-framed eyes,

Flares in the frame, a wish wished so hard it

Doesn’t know where to fly from the Caribbean, and

Dressed pretty, made to look better, the waves

Of my heart shake the boat and my hands shake too—

Wake up slower, hung over, want to be someone else,

Through glasses, sad eyes (my brother morning with

His eyes); I captured two hands clutching each other;

My heart breaks a little, watching the shift, a stumble

Around deck, drunk and tripping on shit.

How best to capture this? Pour yourself more drink.

Strong drink makes things easier: sit easier and ponder—

Make films on the water—leave horses at the bottom—

Dress up for the party, fall over, a mess, a pat on the

Shoulder, a firm grip on a head—lights blink out

In my hand—I leave it sad and disquieting like that.

 

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