potatoes roasted in bacon grease make the small vessel warm and close and erotic

i idled many months
in the vacant home
of a woman, strange.
she left me
instructions. how
to: connect to her
internet. which plants
to water and when.
the quantity of food
to be fed to her cats.

i don’t like the saying,
“i did my best”.
it implies that
maximum effort
was given, and i am
still a human who believes
that; death is the reward
for our best.

and here i am, watching
masts of neighboring boats
sway in evening’s incoming
tide, still, alive.
so i cannot say,
“i did my best”.
this woman, normal,
would agree.
i left flowers upon her
table as a “welcome
home” greeting,
at the conclusion of my
vacant inhabitance.
several days later, she
greeted me with her feelings
of disappointment;
her cats, too fat.
her door frame, whispering
with mold.

an elderly couple,
he, with a leonine white mane,
she, with coarse gray hair
clipped up above the nape
of her woolen shirt,
walk by. they
are beautiful and erect.

the sea returns
to the harbor and i am
flooded
with grief, anger.
if we are to believe
in deservedness then
i should demand
that my mother deserves
a smooth gait and
a gentle man by her side.
instead she carries in her
heart a rainbow
made from ashes.

have you seen the way
a body floats like oil
upon a quietly exultant river?
fresh water tumbling
towards its rakish cousin,
the salt drying to a fine
white powder around the
patois of its gathering tongue?

a wide steel boat ejects
gallons of water from its bilge
every 15 minutes, surprising me
every time. a boat
should not take on water
so quickly, yet still it
floats. not far behind
the stately older couple,
a blurry fisherman shuffles.
he steps off the dock and
onto his rotting wooden vessel.
despite his best efforts,
still, it floats.

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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