Three Different Oceans In A Dry Martini (Poetry From A Cruise Ship)

On the linoleum planks of a cruise ship
midnight sky breathes
purple dust on me.  The ocean ringing in my ears.
I wonder which ocean troubles me most:

the ocean of poetry, so vast, engulfed
in sinking metaphors of life
meeting death through powdery horizon.

Or the ocean environmentalists caution me against—
Graying feverish moan of toxic
consumer past.

But it’s the ocean seeping
inside me,
quietly dampening molecules
containing freeze-dried secrets.
It promises to expose them.

Something in me needs to understand
the heart of a killer.
Someone in me recites obscure plays
by forgotten 15th century writers
who all lost their fame to Shakespeare.

All the oceans find each other,
one leaking its information to the next
until they invent a uniform rhythm:
spraying, rocking, shouting
curse words, the cure for cancer,
tips for better home living.

When there is a desperate squeak like an engine
devouring the last of its oil,
the ocean dries up as the shore appears.
One orange speck at a time.
As the night falls back into the same place I met it,
the oceans murmur their dying desires:

They want me to find transcendence
before it’s too late.

But the pizza buffet closed at nine o’clock.

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