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One spring evening my sailor calls
from his solitary immersion
to invite me to his boat for the first time.
I pack, leaving my kitchen and book covered bed,
to walk empty streets to the bay.
Five blocks from home, I stand on a dock in the dark.
Water slapping hulls, lines tingling along masts,
until a rumble of oar steers him out of the shadows.
I feel my sailor’s arms in each certain stroke
maneuvering through a maze of shadow boats.
My town sparkles around us, sliver of coppery moon
curves above. Kerosene lantern hangs
from his boom, sails glow like folded wings,
a golden gull riding a black satin bay.
We are silent as I board his boat, entering a jewel
of mahogany, curving in lamplight. I slip into awe,
entering a fine crafted jewel box, descending
into the arms of red oak he bolted into place years before.
My sailor beams, giving me his work-roughened hands,
saying, “This is my life I want to share with you.”
I slip too easily into happiness, after his long absence.
My Sa i l o r ’ s Inv i t a t i on
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