Look to the ships; they trace the sky
In lines of gray and spotty white
In tails of smoke like fishing lines
Against the dying of the light.
Within the glitter of their skins
A horde ferments, and though the rays
Are bright, the sunshine cannot warm
What lies within. Upon my gaze
The pixels flash; the screen goes black
Such is the fate of shiny things –
A death a lifetime overdue –
I leave the house. The sunlight stings.
Beyond the edges of the town
The roads fade into brackish murk
The tops of buildings stagger odd
Within the waters. Here I lurk
Between a huddle of the dead
Titanic bones whose shadows throng
Above the sea – the fishes here
Will not be here for long.
I cast my line and fix upon
The windows laced with mossy coat;
Within the glass, amidst the green
There sits an old man in a boat.
He looks as if he soon will starve
And as if that is not enough
Above the tremble of his hand
There lies a bloodstain on his cuff.
His lungs are black; his body shakes
As cough by cough is drawn and cast
In starts and stops. Each moment pulls
To push the next... to stay the last.
And so the sun in dapple falls
To blot the sky in copper hue;
Above the clouds, there should be stars
And in their glow, the chosen few
Whose months will toss and turn and spill
In cryogenic fugue; whose dream
Will rise and bloom and then will wilt –
Yet still, it will not fail to gleam.
It cannot fail to catch and hold
The ripples of its darkling spin –
The blessings of the solar tide –
And so by dusk, the bites begin.
And so in dawn we cast again
To bait the stars with rotten seed
To water worlds in streams of salt
And watch another ocean bleed.
Alas – the line twitches
I ease the fellow in
A wriggling little fish
With scales of burnished tin.