sean (seanbishop) wrote in tonystanza,

Song for Old Sailors

Song for Old Sailors

Eventually the world ends
for everyone. But few get the honor
of death by lava, or the moon
dropping from orbit like a wrecking ball.

Instead you wake one day
with a bulldog’s face: wrinkled and jowled,
speaking an ancient dialect of vowels
the kids don’t understand. You mourn

the price of gas in 1943, or the streets
you loved, which have all changed
their names like remarried wives.
And it gets hard just to keep being

alive in the alien world. Nothing left to do
but load up the gurney with a color TV
and a week’s libations, launch into the sea
and watch the morning news of

faraway massacres, or the discovery
of a genetic growth sequence perfect
for breeding ever-smaller Pomeranians,
massive inch worms, or curing cancer,

or so the news anchor will say,
sipping her coffee in that casual way
that means look, loyal viewers: life
goes on. Yes, life goes on. Which is a song

as old as the world, as old as the day
it unflattened, when the disbelieving sailors
who missed the old earth they loved
set out to find its edge. And then found it.
Tags: critique, mcm1, seanbishop
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