The Lonely Lives of Sailors on Dry Land

by Rebecca Rose

they tore his bones out
in favor of a sewer
they salvaged him in pieces
precious detritus

they hung him by his collarbone
and asked children to draw pictures of him
to imagine what he would have looked like
in his time
when he devoured mountains
and grew fat
until he fell
and the waters dragged him down
and his bones became a forest and a feast
for a hundred million years of hungry mouths,
their greedy teeth still clinging to him when they dug him out

He sits in a chair and eats a banquet prepared for another man,
a man who is a fat god,
worshipped and dull.
He goes hungry at the same table
while his children carve beasts into his back.

His wife wears strange perfumes
and bends her hair into strange shapes.
He starves at her table.

He looks across the wrong sky
and longs for the star that keeps his secrets
but he does not recognize these waters anymore

the ocean is a sewer of light