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.