I first saw you

in the bucket-dark

dusk, a season

of half-bit snow, you

dressed in a shawl of it.

Frozen lines creaked

on cleats and then

when spring climbed into

summer, I opened

your doors, tamped oakum

into invisible seams,

stoked the diesel stove,

stripped you

to bone-colored planks.

I brushed gloss back

into wood steamed

til it bent, curved into

the song of a boat.


Salmon rang

in the sound like bells

we answered. What else

could we do,

the years going by

while town discovered

knick-knacks and meth?


All those days

I fished. I looked through

your rigging

to the ocean below

and the night

and you were the way

in the dark I could see.

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