Monday, March 13, 2017

LIFE STORY

Let's say there's a boat—
proud, glistening, sleek;
about to disembark

from the cute shabby
shore on which you're strolling
and daydreaming of adventure,

with an experienced
crew aboard
and a grizzled but captivating captain

who shouts down to you
that there's
room for one more,

explains that their only mission
is to seek peril and pleasure
and explore the whole ocean

'til their wild hearts' content,
to hunt treasure and fight
pirates and race magic mermaids

through mythical ancient passageways.
Only, let's say—
there's this

one little
totally incontrovertible stipulation:
of never getting where they're going,

never docking in any
of the ongoing succession of perfect island
paradises they'll discover

and never again returning
to the old safety of
this harbor either;

but instead, of stalwartly
journeying forth
with the expressed intention

of sinking—calmly, systematically
abusing and betraying,
then abandoning the ship,

every last man aboard it
resolutely drowning.
No survivors, no one left

to so much as
influence the course of future missions
with the telling of the tale.

And let's say—while he's talking
to you, the boat's just floating there
compliantly, bobbing

up and down, kind of winking
at you in the bright
sun, and nodding

witlessly along
with everything
he's been saying. Be honest:

would you—or anyone
you know, ever
willingly board this thing?

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