On Deck by Stephen Mead
Crazy and not minding what is, after all,
only a word.
Further down is the street queen wearing
her usual wedding dress. It always looks
new & her hair is just so, immaculate Geri-curls
framing a face wizened as an infant’s
with the whisper of a smirk.
She’s wearing that now
as prowling tom cats in sailor suits,
as souvenir-laden tourists, the immigrants to come,
the immigrants of old, hold an inner Ellis Island,
hold a home port or know not knowing a home to lose.
I am on this ship banishing all thoughts
of selfishness for that, to us, may be just a walk
to some junk shop. What is forgiveness to some junk
on high seas, some multi-tiered wedding cake
about to pull anchor?
I think of love, the fall hard and fast, yet kept under a hat.
I think also of its potential ascension and these waves, words
in a diary writing, wiping themselves out.
Here, all is entirely possible & nothing is.
Now the horizon is a moving night city, a great
lit-windowed bus, and I, feeling all this, believe death
may come as a shrug. The calm then will be neither
indifferent or cold, just another area to open & say
“hello there” to, gladly perhaps, or a bit reserved,
with respect, expectations kept in check entirely.
Perhaps this finally is the time of humanity’s going,
as so many in the past, thought of their own age.
Perhaps this is the dawn of another time’s birth pangs
& it is all always about voyaging. Order. Restoration.
Some here. Some there, with chaos a constant fringe.
“I know. I’ve a few ideas,” the crazy street queen says,
handing me her wedding dress.
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