Sub for Sail

If I didn’t pay rent I’d be a ghost, a bump in the night for the other tenants to whisper about, but once a week Landlady docks, half steamed-up on Irish Mist, hand out for me to unhand cash, and I buy off the all-outdoors for another seven days. But every week, before her bon voyage, she puts me on the stand, crossly examining the cluttered room: “Why were you on the night of the day reading all night?” she says. I fold my hands. I clear my throat. I say (lying) “I am” “Perjury is an ugly word,” she says. “writing a book on” I say. “Perjury, Sir.” “di-proto-astro-negativity.” and she leaves. I close the hatch and dive, cruising my book-pile, discoursing with dolphins and whales about the Marianas Trench, about our common full fathom five, snoring an hour on Monday, Tuesday half a day, reading toward and sleeping away my time in a deepsea June or July, for it’s hot down here, the pressure’s on, more and more I need some air. Next time the S. S. Weekly nears the door, I think I’ll trade my sub for sail, exit the harbor, come about, and gathering a deep canvas of air, I’ll up on the water, and away from here, to see how is the all-out-there.

Previous Contents Home Next