My body as a leaky vessel

1 August 2015

At some point I realised
the vessel was lying in a great bed of sand
I climbed into the cabin
and looked out the portholes, all I could see

was sand. I cried and cried,
my tears ran out the portholes, tears and mucous
tears and mucous. Time
passed, the reader yawned, the boat began

to rock, to float. I had cried
an ocean. The fuel tank was empty and I didn’t
know how to operate the sails
so I drifted. I collected rain water in a bucket

on the deck and caught under-sized
fish. The cleanest way to relieve myself was to hang
my arse over the side – precarious
in large swell, inevitably I fell from the vessel.

As the ship drifted out of sight
and I floated on the surface I could feel my self
distending to huge proportions. I slapped
a lazy flipper on the water,

flicked my tail and dived.
Time passes differently under water, one day
I surface, clearing my blow
hole. On the horizon is a shape I remember

– a vessel, a harpoon drives
a puncture wound. I bleed a trail of berley behind
of course the sharks, the sharks,
a bite, another bite, I am whittled away until

a resemblance of past lives
washes up on a beach, on a sand dune, the sun
bleaching the dry bones of me
a fragment picked up by a child and taken home.

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