Boating for Lovers at the End of the World

     Jude Marr

we must be inextricable, our gooseflesh electric, our fine hairs

hooked: we must maneuver (in synch), instinct by instinct, as if

our lives will end when our particles diverge: we are (so far)

survivors: drenched

not drowned: our feet astride a capsized boat, toes curled: we balance

ocean love with ocean fear—

 

we hear fewer seabirds now: our slightest breath, chest-heave  

imperceptible to passing shoals: intent on synchrony we will be

oblivious to chop: whitecaps break against archipelagoes

of plastic: thunderheads

like stealth planes threaten hail: whale-moan is our song: each

little death distracts—

 

sea-blind we nip and lick salted skin slick until crust thickens: abandoned

artefacts (used syringes/cigarette butts/six-pack rings) gather

in our vessel’s lazy wake until we trail ocean trash like Terra’s bridal train

while, miles below our boat’s breastbone

another coral heart

pales to grey—

 

our slant bodies pitch and groan: we are water, without angles

of repose: we are liquid, slipping through crust cracks: discarded

matter matted across ocean swell: and our upturned boat

an island now

home

to flaccid condoms dirty diapers a final nail.

1/3

Jude Marr is a Pushcart-nominated nonbinary poet who writes to survive. Jude’s first full-length collection, We Know Each Other By Our Wounds, came out from Animal Heart Press in 2020 and they also have a chapbook, Breakfast for the Birds, from Finishing Line Press in 2017. Their work has appeared in many journals, including Kissing Dynamite, Cherry Tree, Harbor Review and SWWIM. Jude recently relocated back to the UK after 10 years of living, teaching, and learning in the US.