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.

The Contract

Straighten the collar; accept the seat,
clasped hands, dark wood, damp ink.
Master of the course,
so uncertain, so wild the eye.
Hopes for fortune and light,
but suffering in the endless black.
Behind the curtain, a quick pulse,
and fingers in curls and laces.
Wait, the harpoon’s song, and so much red —
splintering wood, rushing salt.
But take her, in buttons and breeches,
in silk and wool.
Three corners in position.
The harbor without mercy sends her son.