A fleet of clouds weighs anchor on rivers of light and glides out to sea,
the Genoa jibs and spinnakers crosshatched with calligraphic scrawls
and chicken scratches, sails of my failed poems on parchment attached
to the running rigging, heading for that dark horizon where crafts
are scuttled, cargo holds empty, splintered consonants and vowels afloat
on the waves. I pace on the widow’s walk, the east wind dragging at
the shingles, chiseling the slates, and observe the raging combers break
and seethe and break again. Inside, the kettle caterwauls, untended to.
The artist no longer distinguishes shadow from shadow, my blanched face
dissolved in hair he has made too bountiful. He packs up his turpentine,
rags, and in his color-flecked coat, wanders toward town away from me.
Glacial with shame, wild with fury, I'll keep the watch, waiting the first star.