Mariners in emulation of Melville

Wool coats scratch
the staunch beards; those
fingers nearly broken
from the coiling rope, lips
always tasting of chowder,
and gun powder casings, though
these boys are not at war
with anything besides the red
men in the hills, the fatalist
digestion of whale meat, and revenge -

though I doubt Romanism roams
the seas in such a way.

God is the embodiment of
emulation - if the sea and the earth
concocted an orgy, it would bread
man, as it has done; those multi-marginal
faces, evident in the beaten brow
of sex.

A cackling skeleton shouts
from the crows nest - a lagoon
of hypothesis, stretching planks,
like pointing fingers to the horizon,

drowning, as it were, in a small
boat while casing down your enemy.