Ship's Prow Is the Cubist Slate They Call a Face

A poem


Sopped in chrysanthemum, she bows in, singing

stanzas from Atlantic shanties. Gold-leafed,


plank-walker’s wet dream, to see the wood fold slip,

copper nipples milk green towards the ocean’s glass.


Her scapulae of wing and rope, low sails curtain

for her encore as she tailgates the grimaced sun.


No one knows about the shimmy she does at dusk,

the way she houses blowfish as they lift for curtsies


at her bust. King crabs collect the dowries of her

devotees: albatross and porpoise. So slightly


cracked she bends towards the waistline

of a milk-dawn, doesn’t know East from


South, her sunken prow regains momentum

as she sinks to see the prismed coral of a shipwreck.