I Would’ve Made a Better Pirate

I Would’ve Made a Better Pirate

Kim Salac
Media Staff

When Little Boy spent summers at the sea
so long ago he sat and let the waves gnaw
at his feet When Little Boy would steadily wade
into the deep end, to float into sunset lines
and deep blue eyes where there’s nothing below to see
God is said to be somewhere in all of this nothing
He is said to be holding He is said to be loving
Still undercurrents cold is all that holds when sunken
too far to see what nothing lies to live above

When boats learned to float Boy learned to follow
orders even unspoken he learned to see the lighthouse
with his eyes closed tight clasped like praying hands
Little Boy learned to lie when he learned to look older
men in the eyes and claim no fear of jagged little
pits of stone and bones and broken vessels or boulders
Holding no fear of pain boy learns to lie like breathing
avoiding not pain but the fall–the loss of stable footing
Boy fashioned a face of stone and cold as dagger bones

Boy into Man became something stronger than stone
against same salt sea monsters and old tattered enemy flags
Sitting top of mast on misty mornings he wondered
how exactly God is to be found in all of this nothing
See, the ocean still sings to its lost souls found
in darkest deep blue eyes but don’t we all wish on stars
for someone to find us in a puddle of all our broken parts
and still yearn to pull the pieces together with their gentler hands
Don’t we all wish for someone to fall alongside us in the end

Men at sea do as men at sea please and soon enough
sea legs grow steadier than tree roots in the landlocked
state of mind of a child Men wish for breaks in the waves
and still midnight storm surges break their capabilities again
Running from lighthouses and covering mirrors achieving the same
repeated end while the children in your chest hide with ears covered tight
Pulling knees to your chest again, knocked about the hull as it rocks
steady feet on unsteady seas makes for an uncanny match
Lit and dropped to burn the whole horizon like salted earth

A puddle is all i’ll be at the end of the day Sat still waiting
for you to come see what poor soul broke and spilled my guts all
over your shore and I’ll apologize when you pick pieces of broken
sea glass from my hair and i’ll cry when you ask who left me
there knees to my chest head in my hands a lit match on a wooden boat
God is said to have sent his best men to fight his worst enemies and if
He is to be believed I think He sent me to burn in a diversion so older
men may battle the waves in my memory Yet here at the top of the mast
I stay where I wasn’t meant to survive but in spite of it all I do because that
is all steady feet on unsteady seas can achieve–waiting for gentler hands