Off Buzzards Bay
Early June had a satin glut
smooth as varnish cured teak and
didn't we sail her
fitted tight like a rich man's ketch, turning to
face that backward toss of lea
when ocean swells, clanking
stays on metal masts, came stiff from southwest in a changing
wind at 4 o'clock, you could set eight bells
by that shift in wind but you were looking
looking for a sailing sky, for weather
to tuck itself in to the window's sill and
glaze shingles, dew brine sweet as sailors' skin.
August current took us out beyond, where boats don't go,
out from flat calm and
mired us, mute and weathered, in gunwales like
useless ribs stuck in, we propped a splintered hull,
running off course.
Now your rope and pulley'd windows rattle dark in the pound of wind.
Beside me in windless sleep you coast some vessel down an inland canal,
gone from here, sea-bound, nearing a temperate zone,
snug to land while I bob unhooked with over-cast lines
in a vast, still gale.