Deep As Oceans

Navy sailor in salted waves away from the greens,
overwhelming alcoholic perfume of Glory Days
arrives. Pour it into the receiver of a rotary phone
he finds, gives to me for an engagement ring,

I can never get it to catch his line. The dial-tone’s
always singing “Fuck the US military, fuck the US”
ten times over before it clicks to zero, zero…

Now the uniform delicately places bouquets
of foxglove and succulent in the barrels of oak whiskey.
Take a sip, or two, get that same look in your eyes,
cup-up-heart-strings gaze you had when I asked

if you were excited for your second son
and you answered “not really”…Nothing but stings
of a beating heart; the time I’m sixteen and the kitchen

manager at Outback Steakhouse gives me his best
life advice: Don’t marry someone because you
have a kid with them. This lesson is called, “I Regret
It Every Day…” Autonomy knows not to marry the first

limber branch that hands out sparkling grape seeds,
but no one else will learn this until we all slide like hail
storms and curse like the black glittering sea.


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