“warship aria”

by Jeremy Graham

(“warhsip aria” mobile version)

gelatinous, wrinkled sea 
don’t you dare wink at me
this man o’ war knows better
than to trust your cerulean embrace.
stroking my steel hull
your restless and wine-soaked fingers
lullaby the crew nestled in my belly.
salty foam laps upon my decks,
the labia of your wake beneath my keel,
I am borne to plough thalassic fields 
and one day join your benthic cemetery.
but the orphans who nourish my organs
belong to the clay and heavens,
and for all my arms 
I cannot protect them
from your boundless, devouring lust.
they cannot resist the scent of your salty mane,
have you no shame luring immigrants into your bed?
warden, do not detain these mortal laborers
to languish in your briny prison
and become entombed in your basaltic sepulcher.
tame your tumults and tempests
pardon our perils and prejudice
and bend unto enterprising mariners
merciful tides.