Aboard the Interislander
as if inside a bronze bell
a low drone vibrates the hull,
hold full of parked cars,
twenty thousand tons afloat.
What old weight of feeling
has settled in your bones?

A hammer clangs somewhere
beneath the waterline,
a prolonged reverberation
rich in overtones,
pulling a deep draft
through sea-drowned valleys.

Up top, cold wind whips
your camera strap against the rail,
a foil’s flick, hankering to find
a cap to roll along the deck,
weightless and uncontainable,
with joy a flame to flutter.

A mollymawk sits on a swell
before the bow and glances back
from beneath a black brow
in time to take off—
blades of wings stiffly extended,
feet patting the tops of waves
as if a shallow puddle.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 39 Number 2, on page 34
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