Haggling Aboard My Charon


If there is a world, let me be in it:
I repeat that oath in the leaky grotto,
sworn seven days ago to the one whose ashes
I carry now in a box aboard the ferryboat.

Turmoil extends across our passage
like my seasick stomach churning.
I clutch the frigid rail, afraid to tip
into the sea foam’s moon’s reflection.

Pitching and yawing we arrive mid-channel,
so I fit my brass key into the purposeless lock,
for what do you steal from a grieving man
with a box of ashes and a ghoulish promise?

A spray of gelid brine paralyzes me,
reminding me of when I last kissed your lips,
when I wished my blood could resurrect you:
one useless memory just postponing your delivery.

My hand thrusts into the cedar box to toss
fistfuls of your dust into the rolling tide,
wondering if a leap into icy water would forever
render us apart or bring us back together.





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