Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Paul Repossessed

by Donald Brandis

the moon a slice of melon
a weak lantern over an unsettled sea
their boat wallowed like the pig it was
a sailor standing beside Paul fresh from a visit to Corinth
said then spat overboard
neither guide nor décor but random thought
senseless as the waves of this beachless life
he muttered to himself without passion
Paul heard, considered answering
out of the great shaking reordering he once endured
like a hanging, like a mugging on a dark street
a sunstoke fit lasting three long days and nights
raving and thrashing, spitting up bile
then woke up someone else he was no longer around to recognize
would not have if he was
citizen now of a far country few ever merely visit

'the whole human world is overdue for a good shaking
and it's not far off,' he answered in the same flat undertone
the sailor had used but seemed now not to hear
for just then a huge fish leaped straight up out of the water
shaking off spray and all but dancing on the sea surface
twisting side to side as if to throw off a lined hook
flashing silver blue-green in moonlight suddenly bright as bonfire
for a long moment it hung near the moon like a dark wish almost granted
then diving back into black water it vanished without sound or splash
'Satan?' the sailor asked in the same monotone
'Us,' Paul answered: the sailor nodded

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