Ghost Ship

Friday, March 17th, 2017 – 10:01 pm

“Ghost Ship”

No man recalls the season our controls were severed. I just refueled bare hours before and must do it four times a cycle to keep afloat. The black oil and sometimes weaker brown and green that move our broken airship are bitter and costly in evil ways.

The brush and bump below is followed by cost and complaint. I hide my panic at the hull shredding from sudden boulders bruising our portside. Avoiding such meteors in years prior would have been child’s play. Now I look down at the red hydrogen oozing out of our jagged pink fabric. I weep silently at the state of our once revered, invincible vessel. I regret the times I casually cursed her and wonder if she can even get us home again.

At one time, I would whim and whisper and the wheel would respond smooth and with purpose. The bloom of grace commanded a love and invited the hubris and mistakes of youth. Now worlds torn, the top half halfheartedly halters while the lower decks scream protest, a blackened bowel of forgotten blasphemies.

The growl and drone ever grows and we tune anew to the year long wails of the doomed engineers below. Every twist and turn and cry and prayer yields zero response from the singing of tendon and blood. The primitive reactors scream and spew hot acid with tears and their dying despair haunts me each sunrise. Just as they destroyed the captains before me that broke their vows. They flew like ghosts.

The ship lurches into a primitive dance of ecstasy and agony, merging hate and love with chaos and order, black and white, sensual and violent. The endless echos of the larger dark space lusting for a worship that we usually reserve for stars and flaming suns and daughters.

I reach out the cabin window to break the chain and lower the boom and cane. My rancor burrows deep into sand and caresses mock marble with a loving thud. My innocent crew is saved once more from the cliffs of time and cold fires of space.

Our physical connection to the globe is long lost. Now it is flawed and forced and barely felt. I honor their memory with my few remaining red rotations. I have not set foot to holy ground for more months than I chose to count. I ripped up the angry orders of my past and simply point north each dawn toward my father and the sun and my unruly ghosts. Together we daily lace scarred hands and lower sunken eyes to purchase our uneasy peace.

The begging below cuts deeper each night and I pray for souls to the God of land and air. I ask for those buried in this self inflicted tomb. I plead for a final chance to ferry these few tortured stories back to their birthplace.

Sad and under, the sighs surrender, wave and fade to a sweet silence. I pull into the port of their parents with a blackened bow carved from years of battle and trade. Fighting tears and near collapse, I kept only one vow, to bring their souls to the place closest to the illusion of their home.

Dreams of other worlds and the caprice of gods and chance decide whether these lost ones will be longed with kisses and song or the curse and cold of bone and gold.

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