Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Ghost Fleet of Suisun Bay

Huddled like chicks on a cold morning
under the feet of the sun:
boxes of wet vacuum
squeezing into squares of shadow
under a sky smiling like a blank check:
defeated, humiliated, aging,
corpse-leaning, froglike
with dragon flies on their tongues,
pancaked into seclusion
and hypocritical nightmares
of security – like so many of us!
Mothballed veterans of the subprime,
warlike vacuities of dehiscence,
wrecks that avoided pitfalls
onto mud bank or reef
only to wallow in safety
like houseboats moored in a swamp,
they missed the grand detour
into battle, cyclone, Captain Death Wish,
the screaming myth and the headline,
they safely decline to mortality,
blankly shocked at their own squalor,
their prudent declension to death:
squawking behind cocktail napkins,
the perverse once witness of flocks
of frothing crows and trash gulls,
limping between the Farallons
like gimpy whales:
tucked into the seasonal bay
like a gaggle of otiose and obsolete senior citizens,
wintering for decades,
they rust and pollute and decompose and flower,
giving their discharges
like sick babies,
rotting under their nanny, the grinning sun.
The train passes them hourly, the commuters yawn,
peck at their laptops, flip through their newspapers, yawn,
check out their email, text message, dither, yawn,
glance at the ghost fleet, blink, shrug, squirm, yawn,
between the morning launch and the wreck of evening.


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