It's the Boat That Haunts You

And so it is, the boat has come to own you,
has learned to speak a language you cannot help

but agree with, its voice the dark lapping
of water against the hull, its song the wind

in the stays while you sleep, dreaming of a bowsprit
to hold you against the waves, and the boat

curls golden bracelets of cedar
around your wrists as you plane each

plank, its touch the dream of a body becoming
whole—to make the shape, to be shaped—and the boat

says please, says the honed edge
against clear grain is my small prayer to your devotion.

May you forget your life, may you
always be close.

 

First appeared in New England Review and also appears in House of Water (Alice James Books, 2016)