Poems of Life and Death – 37


At rest before the glacier’s pour
And dwarfed by breadth of Admiralty
On Summer’s edge of evening light
He slits a pack of bait,
Stuffs the rectangular prism
Inside the cylindrical cage:
A crab pot to sink in the orange boat’s wake,
This island on the placid sea.
The ferries are running, he tells me and points—
I smile and agree,
Fearing the edge of the map and the knife,
The cut of horizons I’d never see without him:
A current of birds drifting on water,
Low clouds protecting a mountain,
A captain commanding me in Carhartts.
I pretend I’d drown before I’d fight,
Laugh underwater, mistake my phone for a life.
But later, driving back from the dock,
I think of the crab, the bait, the cage—
And wish for a boat to sail through night.

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