It was the longest hour of my life
when I began to understand monsters
arising out of the sea, swallowing ships.
The pitch of blue menace
in its white collar
and only a dream of land
like a failed plan to reach
a planet in space.
Six foot waves rushing against the boat
from due west, bow rising and slamming down
like a body falling from a great height,
pushed from a cliff.
Deck hands tossed about like bowling pins,
passengers gripping their wits,
stomachs a flock of gulls,
my mind bloated with sailors lost
Sixty minutes of near-open ocean
is enough to teach us the meaning
of our vast nothingness.
But this was a ferry full of U.S. citizens
so when we finally docked safely,
the ones heaving and panting the most –
who stood to learn an immeasurable lesson –
wanted their money back, and shouted curses
at our only captain.