Captain Edward Smith, RMS Titanic

I.

I have always owned my oceans
I own them whole
I take everything they give
I swallow the receding horizons
I burn with unaccompanied suns
I sway the rolling jug of the world
I close my days in pointless motions
I close my nights in a tight piano

this was my desire

I ride the black Atlantic
I seek magnetic north
I prowl its iceberg fields
I touch them underground
I handle everything unseen
I am sharpened into shape
I take everything they give

this was my desire

I rise on melting shelves of morning
I feel the white blood flowing
I swell the emerging underbelly
I fondle the lump
I am drawn to the inoperable
I could give up
I could say, “Alright, I’ve had enough”
I would lose my harbor
I would run aground
I would sink below the plains of water

this was my desire

II.

Jenny B was sort of cool in tight black slacks
      [this was my desire]
Playing LP’s in pointy shoes with half-cracked heels
      [this was my desire]
Hypnotized in the rounding lines of spinning vinyl
      [this was my desire]
Wrestling in bed
      [this was my desire]
All night like those people in the bible story
      [this was my desire]
And here’s the crazy part
      [this was my desire]
Something was breaking off but I couldn’t hear it
      [this was my desire]
My skin was finally melting away
      [this was my desire]
And that’s when I discovered the underwater weight of pain
      [this was my desire]
That only the future can reveal
      [this was my desire]
But only the past can understand

III.

I troll the tall towers of water
I stand my ground on liquid rock
I sing above the flagrant waves
I sound the bass notes of the deep
I revenge the stars with stone

I watch with whitening eyes
I observe the sky uncharted
I remember that last summer
I saw a bright vanilla ice cream
I asked for a lick
I remember the lines boiling down our faces
I was one of many standing on that dock
I felt wood ache beneath my feet

I have always owned my oceans
I take everything they give
I leave like the end of a day
I fold the waves under my skin
I cover my flesh with flesh
I feel my heartbeat
I burrow my eyes
I think once again
I think “that’s it”
I say yes!
I dream the last cold
handfuls of
water.

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