The Tale of Two Sailors

June 2, 2011
Murky water roils
from under the decaying hull
of an old steam boat
Ashore, a hooded figure watches
a burning circlet of sunlight
adorning the horizon fading to black.
Crackling floorboards echo
as the man in gloomy overalls and a threadbare coat
pulls the line,
his joints quaking
in time with rusted hinges.
His partner crawls
inside the belly of the boat
and grabs a bucket of fire.
He plunges his hand inside, wincing
as he throws a ball of white-hot light
into the sky. It lands; a single spark
in the unforgiving heavens.
Another, then another they soar
plunging into the abyss
until the bucket is empty.
His comrade flings a jagged cable from the stern, and
whips it around the sliver of silver
that glints atop the ocean
as his teeth glint atop his tongue.
Drunkenly, he yanks the line
and lassos the Pale Lady Moon.
From the mighty depths of the sea
a majestic, monstrous orb rises
casting an eerie glow across the lines and gears.
The angry ocean attempts
to take back what is his,
to swallow her once more.
The whirring and whizzing of the machines
with the clanking and clattering of the battle
that rages as they wipe brave
sweat from their brows.
Their tired eyes glimpse a flash of light—
A snap of line, the crack of skull against wood
the water swells
and takes them.
A crow soars above and spies
a pair of tattered overalls,
and grins.

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