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Dinghy Named Desire

Christopher Shay

Surrender’s prissy white flag

    doesn’t fly on my mast, nor is it

        mentioned, even conjecturally.

 

Sharp swords sheath in stone.

 

Tongue’s metallic flesh

    dripping red, rest at battles lull.

 

Retreating? Ha. Its strategy,

    red colors still fly above head,

        bright and proud, even in a dinghy named Desire.

 

I’ll be back for my ship,

    no magistrate will have me half it;

        mutineers never prosper properly.

 

Love!  You know not the meaning,

    or the blisters of toil,

        nor bruises on brains from beatings unbearable.

 

I’m going to be somebody.

 

I sent you red roses,

    you send me packing, heart pricked,

        with a red flag flapping in foul wet wind.

 

It is a dreary night, deported off my own plank,

    but the sun will whistle on the morning

        when my ship is mine again.

 

And you,

    ha, you’re stowage I could take or leave,

        but you can sail with me still as mate.

 

But you didn’t have to toss my roses out to sea.

    I see them floating,

        red on blackened swells, mocking and laughing

 

I’ll tattoo your name on my liver tonight, ha,

    but I’ll be back,

        and we’ll sail again, you’ll see, you’ll see, indeed.

Stella!

 

 

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21 thoughts on “Dinghy Named Desire

  1. Henry, I liked this on many levels. Reference to Street car is great. I could hear the name Stella being said with a questioned determination.

    I’ll tattoo your name on my liver tonight, ha,

    I loved this line, with the ha at the end! Just Great!

  2. wow henry…really like the allusion to the ship and its captain…some great touches…the roses on the black swells make for a great visual…red flag in the storm…he’s got a touch of madness in him…i imagine he will be back…

  3. This was simply gripping to me. “…tattoo your name on my liver tonight…” Just loved this line and the aftermath of pain it suggests. Great piece!

    Rick

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