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Maelstrom Weather

I watch each known horizon crumble like bleu cheese.

An acquired taste, for sick shipmen and pioneers;

I prefer to sail clear of uncertain times like these.

The sky is dolloped with eggshell white, yet with so much hell below.

My laugh tastes like bitter mold; some forget,

or perhaps don't know, that the clenching depths do freeze

beneath the fathoms. We've had but months of solitude;

the captain has yet to grow enormous wings,

but I'm heartsick at the prow; pale innards drown in milk-black seas.

The brimming stores are rotting; we now have fewer mouths to feed.

Old assumptions decay in the brig, and though the maggots

never tell, the smell of their clotting carries on the breeze.

No blurred mirages promise land. I've half a mind to tumble over,

but something bolder condemns swimming toward a damp surrender.

I feel the captain at my shoulder. A heavy palm, a bracing squeeze.

This vessel was built for pandemonium, for cannon-fire

and maelstrom weather. Though the pulleys creak, she’s loathe to sink,

and the rudder's fixed for imminent shores. She's eaten hurricanes before.

This, too, shall not end her.


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