Friday night we quarrel
he’s drunk on Wild Turkey
and passes out in the bar
so I take him home.
The next night we stay in bed for thirteen hours
is this unlucky?
Sunday we eat Sashimi and rice
I make a mess
he laughs and feeds me red wine,
the sailor’s tattoos burn impressions in my mind
the issue is here and now –
no yes or no, just resonance.
His arms are hairy from diving deep
saturated for hours with cold ocean salt water
bringing me abalone presents,
face betraying nothing, restraint is necessary.
I wake in a blue painted room
filled with knives, guns, and velvet paintings
that he bought in Tijuana
a Folsum prison calendar hangs from a nail
his brother guards the murderers who made it.
The sailor covers his arms
with black tattoos
an inky needle prints a dragon in Hong Kong
trailing wild psychedelic fumes next to a
snarling tiger crouched to pounce from Kaneohe Bay,
in a dirty Philipino parlor
he planted an unfinished rose
with a small pink tongue licking my ear
the thorny vines missing…
five times in thirteen hours.
I’m no fool, I think,
in black war paint he swims down under
with eel, Bat Rays, keen Leopard shark,
playing weird games with mermaid’s hands
in dark water caves
the sea’s deep demands pressing his dirt bones
so they shrivel, cracking beneath her weight.
The marauding mariner, as seen by the mermaid. Nice! – mh