The First Lieutenant

A calm sway — bend and creak.
Descending steps, those salt-stained timbers;
searching eyes.
Weeping wax and fading light,
the dance of wool, buttons, and station.
Skip the beat; touch easy the pulse,
sweat the gaze and quiver.
Lower deck into the dark.
Give way the cautious grip, push the torrid struggle, and wait.
Far aloft, stars unseen,
space falling, a thousand drops.
Secrets and hands —
that wild torrent of should not,
but we, meteors ourselves.