What Is This Ship?
What is this sleep? The waves lull me to it.
Heavy body, whimper in a curl of surf
What is this wave but a rocking in my sleep?
Slip of sea where a far ship's fires reflect.
Sleep, sleepsometimes I am almost dead,
floating like a tired raft in a slow tide.
Or I am an unknotted raft whose boards
are soft where a leak seeps in.
Guilt, guilt a distant foremast says
in its creak and gutter
while a dull wind shudders past the sails,
pushes them out like breath.
It would be better if he were cast into the sea
a cross about his neck. It would be better
In a dream I was cast into a sea
while the men on the deck
put their hands to their mouths
and cried. I lay on my back
and the men said, Sin, their voices woody
and sad. The hope was I would find a cure
for the push of waves that wetted my boards.
But the sky was a rope stretched over the surf,
my body turning like a raft at sea.