When the captain got old
and sick, he had the same
nightmare every night
I’d been up all night with a broken heart and saw him.
Skull deformed, one eye larger than the other.
Then back in his truck and gone before the rest of us were up.
My mind is weighted toward sorrow
and I feel unbalanced when I walk.
There are old rooms there, certainly,
that I’ve now abandoned, with their coffee spills
and unmade beds…
God help me, I don’t know where I’m going.
We hold each other’s hand like children
finding our way home among the closing wolves.
For those who loved me I leave nothing because
they require nothing of me and never did and instead
send me on my way, my boat full of burning flowers.
Yes, I said, to that other self that younger self that
swaggering young ass
who sewed up his heart with cat gut, yes
At seventy-five I find myself in love.
Not the serene love of an old man
steeped in the wine and wisdom of years,
but one who would kill a dragon for her.