because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse

Navigation by night under no stars

img_1353
We passed the New Year
being rocked
on open water by the warm thrum
of the ferry engine, one
of two couples on board
counting down seconds
by cellphone glow,
wondering what it presaged
to tick over a year with no earth
beneath our feet, the ink
of possibility all around us.

An hour earlier, the ferry we should have caught
had t-boned a commercial fishing vessel.
Coast guard called and all.
Never heard a word about victims,
or survivors, though we scanned
the dark for a trace of leftover sirens,
grateful for the lone flash
of the Hatteras light’s bright pulse
on the horizon of our retinas.

Next morning some miles north,
in the shadow of the tower
and the keeper’s old quarters, just
where the waves kiss the sand, leaving
white tide marks like lipstick
stains on the drizzled shore, a shark
with skin the color of dirty snow
lay floundering, line’s cruel end
sunk deep in the cartilage of its palate.
It had been a battle of hours,
up and down the beach, a pair
of fishermen taking turns at a reel
pulled taut over slate gray,
two against one until the fish,
exhausted, heaved up under open air.

How the crowds came running—
a four-foot white
could chew off a child’s leg,
after all—the fishermen whooping
and shoulder-slapping. They’ll throw it back,
you said, as we walked away, into the mists,
inconsequential as the rain; just
another ship passing
in the night, turning
away from another little tragedy,
the saddest thing I had ever seen.

4 responses

  1. Thoroughly descriptive and, quite, poignant…. Lovely.

    January 16, 2017 at 3:37 pm

  2. Gorgeous, as always. And gosh — The lipstick stains… That’s going to stay with me — *so* perfectly and beautifully described!

    January 24, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    • Thanks, L! That means a lot. 🙂 Miss you on Mondays!

      January 27, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      • Miss you so much! I haven’t given up coming! I have been lacking on my writing though but trying hard to get back into the vibe! Hope you’ve been well xoxo

        January 27, 2017 at 6:55 pm

Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s