casual and quiet and less bruised

nantucketferry

drunken pastel passengers surround me
we are taking this boat from a fancy island to a less fancy shore.
everyone is so carefree, just rolling through
I slip between, licking my wounds
casual and quiet and less bruised

a woman twice my age slides up next to me
"you are so handsome – what is your story?"
so I reach back into history to pull up something less than satisfying
"I was just visiting an old friend"
my face is freckled from the ocean's spray, I turn back
nobody is left on this ship's deck
I lean over and watch every wave the almost-full moon lights up
I almost think "I may almost make it"
I almost said something I shouldn't have today
though I almost wish I had, it all feels quite all right

she keeps looking at me, she expects more -
well, stranger lady, I guess I got more than I bargained for -
what are you looking to find? what do you want?

had she asked me what I wanted,
I would have said
I crave this stability and uncertainty and maybe
to never depart from this place or maybe
to always be going -
to constantly be leaving or maybe
to always be coming home, even when I know
I have never been here before

or maybe
I have