In that tense roar on deck,
there has to be music.
It barges into all my secret
places. And it keeps
my pulse awake as I stand where the wind
has stretched and pleated the waves.
The frantic rolls crash deafening
over the ship’s hull.
It is rowdy music. In-your-face,
horny and hard
and searches through my clothes
for ecstasy, roughs me up when it finds
only shrinking flesh. Nothing
can be heard against it and
the brash scrolling waves
push and pound under its treading pressure.
I scan for the horizon. Music
like this has a thundering
beat and I have no wings
to fly the whipped and stinging waves,
no webs to dabble in the cold
pleats and heaving rolls. I turn
to cantilever over the rail,
to find a line in the grey wheals of the sky.
There is black like notation
scudding and whistling tunelessly
across the grey. Flak spray beating
at my face to blast off
the expression. I could be flayed
and churned to bone and paste,
lose my words, my witnesses heaving
and smashed by the rolling waves.
© John Stuart