Metal

by

Starved for contact,
sailors traded any last scrap
of metal for whatever intimacy
they could find.

My chest walks
to the rhythm of her stride.
Her scent spirals
the brainstem, petaling
my scalp with shivers.

They were dizzy with the breeze
full of frangiapani, heliconia,

the burning striations of the tiger
lily in her hair.

They slept on the ship’s floor,
no nails to keep up
their hammocks.

All my belts have lost their buckles.
My glasses are a pair of flat gems.

Loose floorboards rumbled
where the ship’s metal ribs
had been stripped.

I’d brave that long ocean
on a single plank, my teeth
pulled out for their fillings
& pawned.

The sailors didn’t
look back
at the shoreline shrinking
beneath the horizon.

My rear view mirror
is busted & my brake pedal
is covered with thorns.