Poem 20150123

we three are in a room
crowded with old furniture, books, cushions and
the warm glow of firelight
like something out of a hoarder’s edwardian sitting room

you’re talking about our upcoming trip
the three of us are taking a ship
and you’re so beautiful talking about
the man you’re going to meet there

when you cross the room
i can see the soft red shimmer
of your camisole glitter
under the sheer fabric of your shirt

i try to hold you still
but you dance out of my arms
so in love that you are transported
out of this place and out of this time

I am not on the ship when it departs
i watch it pull out of the harbor
and my phone goes off when you realize
i am not there

“you can take another ship,” you say
“there’s a faster one leaving and
you can actually beat us there”
i do what you ask

the ship is old, crowded, and faster than the pleasure barge
we three had planned on sharing
but i have heard whispers about a trail of broken hulls
on the ocean floor, litter for the mermaids to pick over

i arrive still wet with spray from standing on the deck
surprised that your ship has magically arrived early
and the two of you have already disembarked
headed in opposite directions to your respective loves

i know where and when you are meeting him since
you speak of nothing else
and i perform magic of my own, thinking to get there first
i wander like a ghost but find that you are already in his arms

and i wonder about my need to follow you to this shore
to witness this with my own eyes
and wished that I had thrown myself into the fire in that study
or overboard the ship into the cold embrace of a mermaid