Ah Cruise Ships, Oh Humanity

I have a loose theory
there is a big steel tank hidden in the heart
of the ship.
When I close my eyes, tucked away in twisted
cotton imposter, in stiff air-conditioned slumber,
there is a gritty rumbling, and among it,
high-pitched dog whistle cries
for rescue.
I’m afraid I’ll sleepwalk
dragging bare, sunburned feet.  The broadness
in my shoulders and stance
almost Egyptian.
When I reach the center of the ship
I’ll climb each rung up the side of the tank,
waking only when I’m at the top.
Deep gray rubber pulsating,
terrified
by his own wisdom.
Moby Dick has been captured,
subdued,
left to contemplate existentialism
in transit to Mexico.
I want to reach out and touch his skin,
feeling equal parts slime and blanket.
Did anyone ever love him?
Do whales have souls that plummet into thick
atmospheric holes with the speed of death
like humans?

I have a loose theory
Herman Melville writes me letters
from wherever he is.  I get the feeling
he doesn’t know or care who I am.
He scratches ink to paper fervently trying to understand
depression he mistakes for mediocrity.
I don’t know how to respond to him,
how to share with him the same honest chord
that plugs me into the ocean rhythm .
I’m not sure if he’s Ishmael or Bartleby or just plain
Melville.  I’m afraid he’s not certain.
I’m afraid I’m not certain
we will ever find each other
trapped in separate compartments of this earthly space.

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