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The Captain’s Poems

by Parker Smith

Dusk at the beach or later.
Waves fold over themselves
then crowd around my ankles.
A fly caught in a mug of froth wishes
only that the lights will dim.
Don’t pity him: he’s drowning
in his own piss. When the waves
empty off the sand they take
grains with them that drift
together into new kinds
of lifelessness. Each to a unique
abyss and none unlike
the one proposed by this poem.

Raise your hand if your dad
has pretty thick lips,
now that I mention it.
This doesn’t always mean,
that he is or was
an alcoholic or locked
your mom in a closet
so he could show you
his yo-yo tricks in private.
But the buzz of the axle
spinning in its slipknot!
The string, a floating contrail
looping parabolas around his
fingers until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!


Nothing more to say except
sometimes a voice speaks
and I never know whether
it’s weather or whether
or whether or weather.